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Melia, Pius, 1800-1883. | 

The origin, persecutions and 

doctrines of the Waldenses 




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IT Avas ou the 30th April of last year, that in a 
leading article of a London newspaper (the 
"Daily Telegraph," 30th April, 1868), I read 
the following expressions relating to the Wal- 
denses of Piemont. " For sixteen hundred years, at least, 
the Waldenses have guarded the pure and primitive Chris- 
tianity of the Apostles. . . No one knows when or how the 
faith was first delivered to these mountameers. . . Irenajus, 
Bishop of Lyons, in the second century found them a church. 
. . . These gallant hill-men have kept the tradition of the 
Gospel committed to them as i>uve and inviolate as the snow 
upon their own Alps. . . . They have maintained an Evan- 
gelical form of Christianity from the very first, rejecting 
image worship, invocation of saints, auricular confession, 
celibacy, papal supremacy or infallibility, and the dogma of 
purgatory ; taking the Scripture as the rule of life, and admit- 
ting no sacraments but Baptism and the Lord's Supj^er . . . 
No bloodier cruelty disgraces the records of the Papacy than 
the persecutions eiidured by the ancestors of the twenty 
thousand Waldenses now surviving. . . . Never did men 
suffer more for their belief. ..." 

The quoted expressions not being in accordance with 

viu PEE FACE. 

my former knowledge of the Waldensian history, I imposed 
ui^on myself the task of collecting as many books bearing 
on the subject as I could find, in order to ascertain Avhether 
my old impressions were wrong, or the greatest part of the 
above assertions unfounded. 

The following are the principal books I have read through 
relating to this object : Jean Paul Perrin, " Histoire des 
Vaudois," Geneve, 1619; Alexander Ross, " HANSEBEIA," 
London, 1653 ; Samuel Morland, " The History of the 
Evangelical Churches of the Valleys of Piemont," London, 
1658; Jean Leger, Pasteur, &c., "Histoire Generale des 
Eglises Evangeliques de Piemont," Amsterdam, 1680; P. 
Allix, D.D., " History of the ancient Churches of Piedmont," 
London, 1690; William Jones, " History of the Waldenses," 
London, 1812; Jean Rodolphe Peyran, Pastor, with appen- 
dices by Rev. Thomas Sims, M.A., "An Historical Defence 
of the Waldenses or Vaudois," London, 1826; Rev. J. L. 
Jackson, M.A., " Remarks on the Vaudois of Piemont," 
London, 1826 ; William Stephen Gilly, M. A., " Narrative of 
an Excursion to the Mountains of Piemont," London, 1827; 
" Recherches Historiques sur la vci-itableOrigine des Vaudois, 
par Monseigneur Charvaz," Paris et Lyon, 1836; Robert 
Eaird, D.D., " Sketches of Protestantisin in Italy," New 
York — Bi'itish edition, London, 1847; Antoine Monastier, 
" A History of the Vaudois, translated from the French," 
London, 1848; Alberto Bert, Ministro, "J. Valdesi, ovvero 
i Cristiani Cattoliei secondo la Chiesa Primitiva," Torino, 
1849 ; Alexis Muston, D.D., Pastor, "The Israel of the Alps," 
the Vaudois of Piemont," translated by Montgomery, A.M., 
Glasgow, 1857; E. Enderson, D.D., "The Vaudois, &c.. 
Observations," London, 1858; F. M. "The Israel of the 
Alps : a History of the Waldenses," London, 1863. 


Beside these Avorks, I have consulted some of the known 
dictionaries and encyclopedias, viz., " Le grand Dictionnaire 
Histoi'ique on Melange curieux de I'Histoire, sacre et profane," 
par M. Louis Moreri, torn. viii. p. 47-8, a Amsterdam, 1780; 
"Encyclopedic niethodicjue, par une Societe de gens de lettres, 
de savans, d'artistes, &c., Histoire," tome cinquieme, Paris, 
1791; "The Cabinet Cyclopedia," History, by the Rev. 
Henry Stebbing, A.M., vol. ii., London, 1834; "The Ency- 
clopaedia Metropolitana, or Universal Dictionary of Know- 
ledge," vol. xi. ; " History and Biography," vol. iii., London, 
1845; "The English Cyclopedia," conducted by Charles 
Knight, Biography, vol. v., London, 1857 ; " Dizionario di 
Erudizione Ecclesiastica," del Cav'" Gaetano Moroni, vol. 
Ixxxvii., Venezia, 1858, p. 212; and "The Popular Ency- 
clopedia, or Conversation Lexicon," new and revised edition, 
vol. vi., London, Glasgow, and Edinburgh, 1862; and other 
dictionaries and biographies. I have also read on the subject 
many writers on Ecclesiastical history, both Catholic and 

However, before assenting to the statements of the above 
Avriters, I undertook another and much more troublesome 
labour; namely, that of consulting the principal authors 
quoted by them, and of reading their original works. 
And, as I could not obtain all of them in England, I went to 
Italy, and was fortunate enough to find them partly in the 
Roman libraries, but principally in the King's library of 
Turin ; Avhere I was allowed, liy that learned and courteous 
librarian, Commendatore Proni, to make extracts from some 
authentic, but not yet published, manuscripts bearing upon 
the Waldensian history. 

But what induced me more than anything else to pub- 
lish, not all, Init the most clear and undoubtedlv genuine 


documents so collected, was the precious little woi-k of 
I'rofessor James Henthorn Todd, senior Fellow of Trinity 
College, Dublin, entitled " The Book of the Vaudois : the 
Waldesian Manuscripts," London and Cambridge, 1865; and 
the notice given there of the long lost Morland manuscripts, 
lately discovered by Mr. Henry Bradshaw, M.A., Fellow of 
King's College, Cambridge, and librarian of that University. 
Upon my return from Italy, towards the end of last year, 
I was introduced by a friend to Mr. Bradshaw, who kindly 
showed me the Waldensian manuscripts, which, by the same 
acute and fortunate discoverer, are truly called " the oldest 
extant relics of the Vaudois literature," and I must add, 
" the most important documents relating to their history." 

I have thought it necessary to say all these things, to 
show to the learned reader the full reliance which is to be 
placed on the Documents, which I have with some labour ex- 
tracted from the originals, and which I now present faith- 
fully to the public in relation to the Origin., the Persecutions., 
and the Doctrines of the Waldenses in the Valleys of Piemont. 

If, from the evidence of the Documents, there should 
follow a conclusion contrary to the assertions of Avriters till 
now considered of authority, I beg the reader to bear in 
mind, with the old Christian philosopher and martyr, Justin, 
that " Reason commands those, who are truly good and 
lovers of wisdom, to cultivate and love truth alone, casting- 
aside the opinions of their ancestors, if they are wrong ;" and 
that " We are not allowed to honour men more than truth."* 

* Prwscribit ratio ut qui vere pii ei philomphi mutt, vcnim wiice cobtnt it 
ililiganf, recusantes majoriiin opinione.s feqiii, d pr<tvcB diit (Apologia I. ad 
Antoninum Piiim, § VII.) 

/'/(^< honoris lion est Ituhenditm honiiiii (jinim reritnti (Apologia II. pro Cliris- 
tianis. from f^oeratcs). 


I conclude by saying with another glorious martyr, Ire- 
niL'Us, Bishop of Lyons, " That from me, while writing in a 
tongue very different from my native language, nobody 
must expect graces of style which I have not acquired, or 
force of expressions which I cannot pretend to, nor a choice 
of Avords and eloquence which I do not possess ; I only Avish 
that the Documents Avhich, Avith a simple translation and 
some not unnecessary remarks and comments, I publish for 
love of truth, be read and accepted in the same spirit."* 

P. Melia. 

14, Griii/'s Inn Sijiiarc, 

Novanber 1st, 18*59. 

* Non aiitan requires a itulns qui apucl Celtun coinmoramus . . . orathids 
iirle.m quain non didicinuis, neqtie vim conscriptionis quam non affectamus, neque 
orimtum verhormn atque siiadeliini quam nesdmus, sed simpliciter et vere et idiotine, 
qiup. tilri cum dilecdoae scripta .fiint, cum dtkctione perctpius. (In Praifatione, 
Adversus H:vreses.) 



Part the First. 


Section I. 
Autliority of Kicluxnl, Monk of Cluiiy .... 

Skctiox II. 
The \'eneral)le F. Moiiota's Evidence .... 

Section III. 
F. Stfvan Borboiio Dc Bellavilla's Tostinionj- . 

Section IV. 
Alvliiit Bcrnanrs FAitlence ..... 

Section \'. 
Kcinciius Sacco's Statomciit ..... 

Section VI. 
Peter do Piliclidorff's Authority ..... 

Section VII. 
Archhisho]) Soyssell's Evidence ..... 

Section VIII. 
l']ncas Sylvius Piecolomini's Statement 

Section IX. 
Samuel Casini's Evidence ...... 









Sectkin X. 
Revd. Edmund Champions Assertion ...... 32 

Section XI. 
Prior Rorengo's Testimony ....... 33 

Section XII. 
Rev. Theodorus Belvedere's Evidence ...... 37 

Section XIII. 
Extracts from .some Manuscripts in the King's Lihrary of Turin . 40 

Section XIV. 
Other Authorities not Hable to suspicion, principally that of the Wal- 

denBian Manu.scripts ........ 4.5 

Section XV. 
The Dates which Legcr and Morland have assigned to the Waldensian 

Alanuscripts are counterfeit ....... 52 

Pakt the Second. 


Section I. 
Character of John Leger ........ 59 

Section II. 
The Conduct of the Waldenses in Piemont ..... 63 

Section III. 
Sketch of Events connected with the supposed Waldensian Massacre of 

1655 68 

Section IV. 
The Particular Murders of the year 1655 described by Leger, confronted 

with tlie Legal Statements of the same Facts .... 71 

Section \. 
Other Authoritative Statements on the same Argument ... 83 


Part the Third. 


Section I. Vaov. 

A Sktti-li of tho Changes in the Waldcnsian Doctrines from the earliest 

period to the time of the New Reformers ..... 87 

Section II. 
Tiie Religious Doctrines of the Old M'^aldcnses which agi-eed with these 
of the Catholic Church, and diflFered from the Tenets of the New 
Reformers .......... 92 

Section III. 
The Religi(jus Tenets of the Old agreeing with those of the New 

Refoniiers, and at variance with the Catholic Doctrines . . . 100 

v' § 1. Waldensian Tenet. — On the Church of God . . . .101 

Catholic Doctrine on this Point ...... 102 

§ 2. Waldensian Tenet. — On Prayers 10.3 

Catholic Doctrine 103 

§ 3. Waldensian Tenet — On the Holy Scripture,* . . .104 

Catholic Doctrine on this Subject ..... 10.5 
§ 4. Waldensian Tenet. — On the Blessings and Consecrations of the 

Church 106 

Catholic Doctrine . . . . . . . .107 

§ .5. Waldensian Tenet.- — On the Autliority of the Catholic Priests 

and of the Pope 108 

Catholic Doctrine . . . . . . . .109 

§ 6. Waldensian Tenet.— On the Right of Preaching . . . 110 

Catholic Doctrine . . . • . . .110 

§ 7. Waldensian Tenet. — On the Right of Hearing Confessions . Ill 

Catholic Doctrine . . . . .111 

§ 8. Waldcnsian Tenet. — On Oaths 112 

Catholic Doctrine . . . . . . .112 

§ 9. Waldensian Tenet.— On Lies 113 

Catholic Doctrine . . . . . . . 1 13 

§ 10. Waldensian Tenet. — On Purgatory ..... 114 

Catholic Doctrine . . . . . . . .115 


• § 11. Waldeusian Tenet. — On Indulgences .... 116 

Catholic Doctrine . . . . . . . .116 

§ 12. Waldensian Tenet. — On Fasting and Holy Days . . .117 

Catholic Doctrine . . . . . . .117 

§ 13. Waldensian Tenet. — On the Invocation of Saints . . .118 

Catholic Doctrine . . . . . . . .119 

§ 14. Waldensian Tenet. — On Holy Images, Paintings, and Relics . 120 
Catholic Doctrine . . . . . . . .121 

§ 15. Waldensian Tenet. — On Two Tenets relating to Lay Magis- 
trates and to the Precept — Not to Kill ..... 122 

Catholic Doctrine 123 

Seotion IV. 
Religious Tenets adopted at a later period hy the Bohemian M'aldensos 

before the time of Luther and Calvin .... 124 

§ 1. The Tenet of the Bohemian Waldenses on Auricular Confession. 125 

Catholic Doctrine ........ 125 

§ 2. Dofinitionof the ChiU'ch of God given by the Bohemian Waldenses. 126 

Catholic Definition of the Church of God on Eartli . . . 127 

§ 3. The Tenet of the Bohemian Waldenses on the Holy Conmiunion. 128 

Catholic Doctrine 128 

§ 4. The Tenet of the Bohemian Waldenses on Transubstantiation . 129 

Catholic Statement on the same ...... 129 

Conclusion . .......... 130 

General Inde.x ..... ..... 133 

Part the First. 

Section I. 

authority of RICHARD MONK OF CLUNY. 

!ET us begin with a document from the Chro- 
nicle of Richard, Monk of Cluny, published by 
Muratori ("Rerum Italicarum Scriptores," tom. 
iii. p. 447, et seq. Mediolani, 1723) from the 
manuscripts of the learned Bernard Guidoui, who lived from 
the year 1260 to the year 1331. Richard flourished about 
1156, according to Martinus Polonus, Valaterranus, and 
Vossius : and Muratori {ibid. ), on the ground of his having 
written, not only the life of Alexander III. who died 1181, 
but also that of Innocent III., who died 1216, argues that 
Richard must have lived writing at least to the last 
mentioned year. That the lives of the two Popes were 
written, not by Guidoni, but by the monk Richard, is evident 
from the following statement, written in large red letters 
immediately after the two lives : Hue usque Chronica Richarcli 
Monachi Cluniacensis protenditur et terminatur. Now, in the 
life of Alexander, exalted to the Pontifical Chair in 1159, 
there is the following clear account of the origin of the 
Waldenses, written, as we have said, by Richard, a respect- 
able contemporary, and preserved for us by Guidoni, a Bishop, 
compared to the fii'st Fathers of the Church for his prudence,- 

T- B 


learning, and virtues : {Assimilatus. Patribus primitivis) 
(see Muratori, ibid. p. 274). 

" About the year of Our Lord 1170' arose the sect and 
heresy of those who are called Waldenses, or Poor of Lyons. 
The author and founder of them was a citizen of Lyons 
called Waldensis,^ from whom his followers received the like 
name. He being a man possessing riches, abandoning every- 
thing, resolved to live a life of poverty, and Evangelical per- 
fection, as the Apostles did. And having caused the Gospels, 
and some other books of the Bible, and several authorities 
of Saints, which he called Summas, to be written for his own 
use in the vei'nacular tongue; he reading them often by 
himself, and little understanding them ; proud in his own 
conceit, and possessing a little learning ; assumed to himself 
and usurped the office of the Apostles : preaching the Gospel 

" Circa annum Domini mclxx. inccepit secta et Tweresis tllorum qui dicuntwr 
Valdenses, seu Pauperes de Lugduno, cvjus aicctor et inventor fuit quida/m 
civis Lur/dunensis nomine Valdensis, a qiio sectatores ejus fiierunt taliter 
nominati; qui dives rebus extitit et relictis omnibus, proposidt serva/re 
paavpertatem et perfedionem Evangelicam sicut Apiostoli servaverunt. Et cwm 
feeisset sibi conscrihi Evangelia et aliquos libros Bihlice in vulgari et nontiullas 
cmetoritates Sanctorum quas summas appellavit, ea scepivs secum, legens et 
minus sane intelligens, sensu suo inflatus cum esset modicum literatus, Apos- 
toloram sibi officium iisurpavit atquepi-cesumpsit,piervicos et plateas Evangelia 

' Astlieautliormentions the year 1170 as godliness; and by Pope Gregory IX. in 

the beginning of the sect, and other authors, 123G, in a Constitution (^Decret. L. v. Tit. VTi. 

instead, point out 1160, and some hint other de Haeret.), with these words: Excommu- 

years between the two, and some otliers 1180, nicamiis et anathemalizanms vniversos haere- 

we may say that those wlio put the beginning ticos, Catharos, Patarinos, Patiperes de Lug- 

of tlie Waldensian sect in tlie year 1 160 speak duno, etc. Damnatiquc I'ero per Ecclesiam 

of the first change in Peter Waldensis' life Soeculari judicio relinquantur, animadver- 

from riches to poverty, and the others, who sione debita pxiniendi. 

mark the year 117u, allude to the public ^ Peter Waldensis, or Waldesius, or de 

spreading of the sect. After which time the Vaudia, orValdo, or Vaudois (different man- 

Waldenses were restrained or condemned ner of spelling the same name by different 

many times; principally by Alexander III. writers), was a citizen of Lyons in fact, 

in the third Council of Lateran, in 1179; by though born in a little village near Lyons, 

John Bellesmayns or Bellismanibus, Arch- on the Rhone. He had his dwelling-house 

bishop of Lyons in 1182 or 1183; by Pope in Lyons near the church of St. Nizier, in 

Lucius in. at a Council in Verona, in 1184 ; a street, which, after his expulsion, was called 

by Innocent III. in the twelfth General Rue Maudite, till the fourteenth century, 

Council, which was the fourth Lateran, in when it was named Rue Vendrant. (See 

1215: where (in theDecree III. (leHaereticis) Guy Allard, "Bibl. de Duphine," Chorier, 

the Waldenses are described as persons bav- vol. ii. p. 69, Paradin, p. 127; and Per- 

ing the appearance, without the reality, of rieaud's documents, in the Lihr. of Lyons.) 


in the streets and in the squares. He caused many men and 
women to become his accomplices in a like presumption : 
whom he sent to pi-each as his disciples. They l)oing simple 
and illiterate people, traversing the villages and entering 
into the houses, spread everywhere many errors. Called to 
account by the Archbishop of Lyons, John Beles-Mayus, 
they were prohibited by him. But they would not obey, 
offering as a pretext for their folly, that they ought to obey 
not men but God, Avho commanded the Aj^ostles to preach 
the Gospel to every ci'eature : arrogating to themselves what 
had been said to the Apostles, of whom, by a feigned appear- 
ance of poverty and sanctity, they professed to be followers 
and successors, despising the Clergy and Priests. Thus, from 
the presumptuous usurpation of the office of preaching, they 
became first disobedient, afterwards contumacious, and there- 
fore being excommunicated, were exiled from that country. 
At last, cited to a Council which was held in Rome before 
that of Lateran, they were adjudged contumacious and schis- 
matics. And being dispersed through the provinces, and 
mingling on the borders of Lombardy with other heretics, 
and also imbibing and following their errors, were adjudged 

prmdica/ndo ; mulfosque liomines et muUeres ad similem pnesumptionem com- 
plices sihi fecif, quos ad praidicandtan iainquam disclpidos emitfehaf. Qui 
cum essont idioUe et Uliferati, per villas discurrenies et domos penefrantes, 
multos errores circumquaque diffuderunt ; et vocati ah ArcMepiscopo Lug- 
dunensi Domino Johanne Beles-Mayus, prohihiti sunt ab eodem ; sed ohedire 
minims volnenmt, velamen suce vesanire prcetendentes et dicentes qitod oporteret 
m,agis Deo quam, hom.inibiis ohedire, qui prcecepit Apostolis, omni creaturoe 
Evangelium pi-cedicare ; arrogantes sihi quod Apostolis erat dictrmi ; quorum 
im,itatores et successores, falsa paupertatis professione et ficta sanctitatis 
imagine, se esse profitebantur ; aspernantes Clericos et Presbyferos. Sic 
itaque ex prcesuTnptuosa usurpatione officii prcedicandi, inohedientes, deinde 
contmnaces et exinde excommunicati, ab ilia patria sunt expidsi. Demtan 
vero convocati ad Concilium quod fuit Bomm ante Lateranense celebratum., 
fuerunt pertinaces et schismatici judicati. Sicque dispersi per provincias, et 
in confinihus LomharduB cum aliis Juereticis se miscentes et eormn errores 
bibente^ et sectantes, fuerunt h/nretici judicati." 

Section II. 


jHE second document relating to the Origin of the 
Waldenses is given by Father Moneta, whose 
manuscripts, in the libraries of the Vatican, of 
Bologna, and of Naples, have been published by Thomas 
Augustin Ricchini in Rome, 1743, under the title, " Venera- 
bilis Patris Monetce Cremonensis Ordinis Prcedicatorum ad- 
versus Catharos et Waldenses^ Libri quinque." Father Moneta 
was a professor of philosophy in Bologna in 1218, when, at 
the preaching of the blessed Reginaldus Aurelianensis, he was 
induced to abandon his secular pursuits, and two years after- 
wards gave his name to the Dominican Order. St. Dominic 
appointed him to be his vicar in Milan, and through Insubria ; 
and it is said that the holy founder died in Bologna in the 
very bed of F. Moneta. F. Moneta's learning, zeal and 
virtues, and chiefly his patience when he became blind, are 
praised by many writers of his time. The year in Avhich he 
wrote his work is clearly stated by him, when (Lib. iii. cap. 
iii. § ii.), after quoting the saying of our Lord: "I saw 
Satan falling from heaven like a flash of lightning," the 
author continues : " But He (our Lord) did not see the fall 
of Sathan with his human eyes, because it is not more than 
twelve hundred and forty-four years that he was incarnate." 
(In the Vat. MS.), Sed non videhat eum cadentem secundum 
homo, non efiim sunt plu^quam 1244 anni quod Ipse /actus est 
homo : from which F. Moneta derives a proof of the eternal 
divinity of our Lord. Now this epoch of 1244 is to be 
marked, both because it gives us the date in which F. Moneta 
wrote his book, and it helps us to understand an important 
part of the following passage (Lib. v. cap. i. § iv. pp. 402, 

" Having proved that the community of the Catharites is 
not the Church of God, let us prove that the community of 


the Poor Lyonists is not the Church of God. This appears 
from -what is said in the second letter of St. Peter the 
Apostle (chapter ii. 1 and 10): 'Who shall bring in sects 
of perdition, and despise authority.' Secondly, the same 
thing is proved if their Origui is attended to; because it is 
clear that they had their begmning from Waldesius, a 
citizen of Lyons, who entered on this path not more than 
eighty years ago ; or, if they are more or less, the difference 
of more or less is little.^ Consequently, they are not the 
successors of the primitive Church, and- of course they are 
not the Church of God. And if they should say that their 
manner of proceeding was before Waldesius, let them prove it 
with some testimony, which they cannot do. Thirdly, it may 
be demonstrated that their congregation is not the Church of 
God through the remission of sins. . . . You come from 
Waldesius, tell us, from whence did he come?* . . . If they 
say that they came forth from God and from the Apostles 
and from the Gospel, the fact is against them, because God for- 
gives sins through his minister (John xx. 23) : 'To whom you 
shall forgive their sins, are forgiven to them.' Therefore, if 
God forgave the sins of Waldesius, He forgave them through 

" Ostenso quod universitas Oatharorum non est Ecclesia Dei, ostendamus 
quod universitas Pauperum Leonistanum non est Ecclesia Dei. Et prohatm 
per illud (2 Petri ii. 1, 10) ; Qui introdiiceiit sectas perditionis . . domi- 
natioiiemque contemnunt. . . . Sectmdo mode id ostenditur si ipsorum origo 
attendatur. Non enim mxdtum temporis est quod esse cceperunt. Quoniam 
sicut patet a Valderio cive Lugdanensi exordiwm acceperunt, qui hano viam 
incoepit non sunt plures quam octoginta anni ; vel si plures aut pauciores, 
parum plures vel pauciores existunt. Ergo non sunt successores Ecclesia 
primitivce, ergo non sunt Ecclesia Dei. Si atitem dicant quod sua vita ante 
Valdesium fuit, ostendant liac aliquo testimonio, quod minime fa^ere possunt. 
. . . fertio per remissionem peccatorum ostendi potest quod eorum congregatio 
■non est Ecclesia Dei . . . Vos vcnistis a Valdesio ; dicatis unde ipse venit ? 
. . . SI dicant quad a Deo veneruni et ab AjMsfolis atque Evangelio, contra ; 

' Taking 80 from 1244 we have the year by the Waldenses, that one of their chiefs, 

1164, more or less. Now this perfectly Peter, went to the Pope, .and proniiseil to 

agrees with the document first quotc<l, in him that they would hold to the four Doctors 

which the Origin of the Waldenses is put Ambrose, Augustin, Gregory, an<l Jerome; 

about the year of our Lord Wla. and that the Pope gave him the office of 

* Ilcrc the author repeats the lable forged preaching. 


His minister. But tell me through whom of His ministers 
did God forgive him his sins? Fourthly, the same is proved 
from the Ecclesiastical Orders, of which they confess that 
there are three at least — Episcopacy, Priesthood, and Dea- 
conshifD. Without these three Orders the Church of God 
cannot and ought not to exist, as they admit. Let us, then, 
say to them : If the Church of God is not without these 
Orders, and you are without them, it follows that your 
congregation is not the Church of God. If they should 
say that their congregation has Orders, I ask. From Avhom 
did they receive them? Who, then, is your Bishop? If 
they should name a particular man, I ask again, Who gave 
him the Ordination? If they name some other, I equally 
ask. Who ordained this other? And, so going on, they 
will be obliged to ascend to Waldesius. Next, it is to be 
asked. From whence had he his Orders? If they answer 
that he had them by himself, it is clear that it is against the 
Apostle, who says (Heb. v. 4): 'And no one assumes the 
honour, except him who is called by the Lord, like Aaron.' 
... If, then, Waldesius had the Orders from himself, he 
glorified himself to be a Bishop ; in consequence, he was an 
antichrist, namely, against Christ and his Church. And if 
they should say that Waldesius had his Orders from God 
directly, their assertion cannot be confirmed by any testi- 

fyse 11071 parcit nisi per ministrmn ; ttnde : ' Quorum remiseritis peccata 
remittuntur eis ' (John xx. 23). Ergo si remisit Valdosio, per ministnvm 
remisit. Sed die niihi, pier qicni mini'sfrum ei remisit? Quarto modo idem 
ostenditur per Ordinem Eccle.-o'iisfiruoii, qnem ipsi ad minus tripUcem eonfiten- 
tur,scillcetEpiscopatum,I'reshyti'riitinii el Diaconatum,sine quo triplici ordine 
Ecclesia Dei twn potest esse nee debet, ut ipsi testantur. Dicamus ergo eis : 
Si Ecclesia Dei non est sine istis ordinihus, vestra autem generatio sine eis 
est, ergo non est Ecclesia Dei. Si autem dicant : Nostra generatio illos 
habet, qiuero a quo habuit ? Quis enim est episcopus vester ? 8i dicant, talis 
Iwmo ; dicite quis ordinavit cum ? Si dicunt : Quidcmi ; qucero etiam, Quis 
istiim alium ordinavit ? Et sic ascendendo compellentur usque ad Valdesiu/m 
venire. Postea qucerendum est, Unde iste ordines hahuit ? Si dicunt quod a 
seipso, palam est, si Iwc est ; quia contrarius Apostolo sit, qui dicit (Heb. v. 
4). Nee quisquam sum,it sibi honorem, sed qui vacatur a Deo tamquatn 
Aaron. . . . Valdesius autem si a se Ordinem habuit, clarificavit semetipsum 
ut pontifex fieret. Ipse igitur antichristus fuit, idest Christo et Ecclesice ejus 


mony of Scripture. . . . Some said that Waldesius received 
his Orders from the community of his brethren. The first 
who said so was one chief of the poor Lombards, called 
Thomas, a perverted doctor, and he endeavoured to prove 
it thus : Every member of his congregation could give 
Waldesius the right of a ruler over himself, and so all the 
congregation could give, and really gave to Waldesius, the 
rights of a ruler over them all ; and thus he was made their 
pontiff and prelate. But if that heresiarch had understood 
how foolish that reason was, he would not have allowed 
himself to utter those words ; because every Bishop has the 
right of being a ruler, but aot every ruler has the right of 
being a Bishop. From the assertion that they could give 
him the office of a ruler, it does not follow that they could 
make him a Bishop. . . . One thing is to confer Orders 
and another to give domination. Orders are given by a 
Bishop only. ... It appears, then, that it is a falsehood 
to say that Waldesius received Orders, and that he could 
give them to others. He had no Orders, and, consequently, 
you have no Orders, and you cannot be the Church of God, 
in which there are three Orders at least. Pei-haps (ibid. 
§ V. p. 407) they might say that their congregation and 
the congregation of the Church of Rome are one, holy and 

contrarius. 81 dicunt qiwniam a Deo Ordinem habrdt mwnediate ; illud 
nidlo testimonio Scripturce ostendere possunt. Sciendum autem quod quidam 
dixerunt quod Valdeskis m-dinem habuit ah universitate fratrum siiorum. 
Eorum autem qui Iwc dixerunt auctor fuit quidam Iweresiarcha Pauperum 
Lombardormn, doeto)' pei-versus Thomas nomine. Hoc autem probare taliter 
nisus est : Quilibct de ilia congregatione potuit da/re Valdesio jus suum, scilicet 
regere seipsii/m ; et sic tota congregatio ilia potuit conferre et contulit Valdesio 
regim.en omnium,, et sic creaverunt ilium, omnium poniificem et prcelatum,. Si 
anitem heresiarcha ille intellexisset quam fatuum istud esset, neqiiaqtiam ex 
we sito istud pi'ocedere perm,isisset. Omnis enim pmitificatus est regimen, 
sed twn onine regimen est pontificatus. Quomodo ergo sequitur ; potuenmt 
ei dare regimen sui, ergo pontificatwm. . . . AlivA est conferre Ordinem, et 
aliud conferre regimen ; primum enim tantum Episcoporum est . . . Undo 
paZanrn est quia fabzdosum est dicere quod Valdesius Ordinem Jiahdt, et quod 
aliis conferre potuerit. Sic ergo ordine ca/ruit : ergo et vos, ergo non estis 
Ecclesia Dei, qiux: in trlbus Ordinibus ad minus cotisistif, (Ibid. § v. p. 407.) 
Forte dicorent quod eorum congregatio et congregatio Uomaiun Ecclesiw est 


Catholic, though they are divided into two parts : -one part 
malignant, which now is called the Roman Church; one 
part benignant, which is the Waldensian congregation. 
But against this assertion there is the fact that the latter 
(namely, the Waldensian congregation) had no existence 
from the time of Silvester to the time of "Waldesius, which 
you cannot disprove. Therefore the Church failed with 
Silvester, and it is shown to be false in the third chapter. . . 
These heretics (chap. iii. § i. p. 412) say that the Church 
of God failed at the time of blessed Silvester . . . and that 
it has been restored in these times by themselves, the first 
of whom Waldesius was. Let us then ask from whence 
they know that the Church failed. And, as they have no 
testimony to confirm it, they Avill be reduced to silence. 
Let us show {ibid. § ii. p. 413) that the Church of the New 
Testament, from the time of her beginning, did not fail to 
exist: ' The Lord God (Luke i. 32, 33) shall give Him (to 
Jesus Christ) the seat of David His father, . . . and of His 
kingdom there shall be no end.' And Daniel (chap. ii. 44) : 
' In the days of those kingdoms God will raise the kingdom 
of heaven, which shall never be destroyed, and His kingdom 
shall not be delivered up to another people, . . . and itself 
shall stand for ever.' {Ibid. § iii.) 'A bad life does not 
take away the power attached to the ministry.' Hence, 

M«(z, sancta et catlwlica, licet diuje sinf ejus paries : una est pars maligna quae 
dicitur modo Romana Ecclesia, alia henigna qiuB est congregatio Valdensimn. 
Sed contra. Ilia pa/rs a tempore Silvestri non fuit i(sque ad tempiis Valdesii, 
quod tv, possis ostendere; Ergo Ecclesia defecit in Silvestro ; q^iod falsu/m 
esse ostenditur in tertio capitc. (Ibid. Lib. v. Cap. iii. § i. p. 412.) Isti 
lujeretici dicimt, Ecclesiam Dei, teinjiore heati Silvestri defecisse . ... in 
temporihus OAder.i istis restituta/m esse per ipsos, quormn primus fuit Valdesi/us, 
Qweramus ergo, unde hahent quod defecerit ? Et cum inde testimonium non 
habeant, ohmutescent. Ostenda/mus (Ibid. § xi. p. 413) quod Ecclesia Novi 
Testamenti piostquam esse coepit, non desierit esse : ' Dabit illi Doniinus Deus 
sedem Da/vid patris ejus . . . et regni ejus non erit finis (Luc. i. 32, 33.). 
In diebiis autem regnorum illonvm suscitabit Deus coeli regnuin, quod in 
a^ternuni non dissipabitur, et regnum ejus alteri popido non tradetur . . . et 
ipsum stabit in ceternum' (Dan. ii. 44). (Ibid. § iii.) Mala vita non 
iollit effectiim smim ministerio. Ergo, p>osito quod Silvester peccavit {which 


though we should admit that Silvester sinned and became 
wicked (which is false), yet the Church did not fail with 
Silvester. The minister does not lose his Orders for his 
sin. 'Many (Matt. vii. 22) will say to me in that day; 
Lord, Lord, have not we pi'ophesied in Thy name, and cast 
out devils in Thy name, and done many miracles in Thy 
name?' They did so, not in virtue of their lives, but in 
virtue of their ministry." 

Section IIL 


)E take the third document from the writings of 
F. Stevan de Borbone, called also De Bellavilla, 
from the name of a castle in Burgundy, where he 
was born, towards the end of the twelfth century. After 
finishing his studies in Paris he entered into the Order of 
St. Dominic, and about 1228 he was already preaching in 
Lyons, and in many other places; and also on the Alps. 
Famous for his virtuous life, his zeal and learning, he, 
during the fourth of a century, discharged the office of a 
defender of the faith in Clairmont and in Lyons. He wrote 
a great volume on the Gifts of the Holy Ghost, and ended 
his life in Lyons in the year 12 6 L {See Quetif and E chard, 
" Scriptores Ordinum Prsedicatorum," vol. i. Lutetian 
Farisiorum, 1719, scec. xiii. p. 184 et seq.) Before giving 
Bellavilla's document on the Origin of the Waldenses, it 
will not be useless to state a few particulars related by him 
in the above-mentioned work bearing on our argument. He 
says that he heard (Sorb. MS. fol. 391) from a man, who 

is denied by the autlwr afterwwrds), et malus f actus fuerit, iion ta/men defecit 
Ecclesia in Silvestro. Ergo non amittitur (prdo) per pcccatuin. ^ Mtdti 
dicent mild in ilia die : Domine, Domine : nonne in nomine fuo proj^lietavirmts, 
et in nomine tiw rhemonia ejecinius et in nomine too virtutes midtas fecimns 
(Matth. vii. 22.) ? Non per vitam sed pier ministerium." 


assured him that he was present on the occasion, that in a 
to^yn of Lombardy there were seven chiefs of different sects, 
opposed to each other, who, at a meeting held by them, tried 
each one to establish his own doctrine, and to show the false- 
hood of the others ; and that everyone concluded his speech 
by excommunicating everybody else, if they should propose 
or accept anything contraiy to his belief. He also relates 
that in the town called Joinville {super Sagonam in DicEcesi 
Bisuntineiisi {Bisanzon) appeared a man in disguise, who, 
being summoned before a magistrate and obliged to give an 
account of himself, admitted that for eighteen years he had 
been absent from the place in order to study in Milan the 
tenets of the Waldensian sect; that there were seventeen 
sects, everyone contrary to the others, which sects were also 
condemned by those of his sect (and he gave the names of 
them all) ; and that he Avas of the sect of those called the 
Poor of Lyons, who also call themselves Poor of Spirit, who, 
from the name of their chief, are called Waldenses, who, 
amongst other errors, condemn every person possessing 
earthly goods. Prima, de qua ipse erat, dicebantur Pauperes 
de Lugduno, qui se etiam vocant Pauperes Spiritu, qui dicuntur 
Valdenses a suo hceresiarcha, qui cum aliis erroribus suis 
damnant omnes terretia possidentes (L. C). But let us hear 
on the subject F. Steven Borbone de Bellavilla in the thirty- 
first chapter of his work already quoted. 

" Fourthly, we ought to speak of the heretics of our time, 
namely of the Waldenses, whence they had their beginning, 
and from whom and why and how they are so called. From 
the author of this heresy named Waldensis, they are called 
Waldenses. They are also called Poor of Lyons, because 
they began to profess poverty there. They call themselves 

"Quarto dicendivm est de luBreticis nostri temporis scilicet Waldensibus . . . 
unde ortum habuerunt, et unde et quare et quomodo ajypellentur. Waldenses 
a/utem dicti sunt a primo Jmijus hceresis cmictore qui nominatus fuit Waldensis. 
Dicuntur etiam Pauperes de Lugdu/no, quia ihi incceperunt in p^-ofessione 
poAipertatis. Vocant oditem^se " Pwwperes Spiritu," propter quod Dominus 


Poor of Sjnrit, because our Lord said (Matt, v.) 'Blessed 
are the poor of spirit.' Truly poor in their spirit, without 
any spiritual good and without the Holy Ghost. That sect 
took its origin in the following way, as I have been told by 
many who knew their elders, and by that Priest who was 
much respected and rich in the town of Lyons, and was a 
friend of our brethren, Bernard Ydros by name, Avho, when 
he was young and a transcriber,® wrote for money for the 
said Waldensis the first books possessed by the Waldenses 
in the old Proven§al language. The translator, under whose 
dictation the books were written, was Steven de Ansa (or 
de Emsa, MS. Rotom.), whom I have often seen. He after- 
wards obtained an Ecclesiastical benefice in the Cathedral 
of Lyons, and falling from the roof of a house, which he was 
building, he was suddenly killed. A rich man in the said 
town, called Waldensis, hearing the Gospels, and having a 
little learning, desirous to know theu* contents, made a bar- 
gain with these Priests, that the one should translate the 
Gospels into the vernacular language, and the other should 
write under the dictation of the first. They did so ; and with 
the Gospels they also translated many other books of the Bible, 
and many authorities of Saints united under titles which they 

dicH (Matt. V.) ' Beati pmijjeres spiritu.' Et vere pauperes in spiritu 
a spiritualibiis bonis et a Spiritu Saticto. Inccepit autem ilia secta per hunc 
moclum, secwulum quod ego a pluribus qui priores eorum viderunt, et a 
Sacerdofe illo qui satis Iwiwratus erat et dives in civitate Lugdwneiisi, et 
amicics fratrum nostroruin, qui dictus fuit Bernardus Ydros : qui, cum esset 
juvenis et scriptor, scripsit dicto Waldensi priores libros pro pecunia in 
Romano quos ipsi habuerunt, transferente et dictante ei Stephana de Ansa 
{God. Rotomag. de Emsa), qui postea beneficiatii^ in Ecclesia majore 
Lugdunensi {Cod, Rotom. promotus est in Sacerdotem et), de solaria domus 
quani (Bdificahat eorruens, morte sid)ita vitmn finivit, queni ego vidi scepe. 
Qwidam dives rebus in dicta urhe dictus Waldensis audiens Evangelia, cum 
nan esset multwm litteratus, cwriosus infelligere quid dicerent, fecit pactum, 
cum diciis sacerdotihus, alteri ut transferet ei in vulgari, alteri ut scriberet 
qucB ille dictaret : quod fecerunt. Similiter multos libros B iblice, et auctori- 
tates Sanctorum, multos per titulos congregatas, quas Sentential appellabant. 

' In that age, in wliicli the art of printing was unknown, it was a respected and useful 
profession to be a good transcriber. 


called Sentences. Now the same citizen, often reading those 
writings and learning them by heart, resolved to keep Evan- 
gelical perfection as the Apostles did. He sold every thing 
he had, and through contempt of this world threw his money 
into the streets to the poor : and preaching the Gospels and 
what he had learned by heart, presumptuously assumed the 
office of the Apostles. So he succeeded in gathering to- 
gether men and women: and teaching them the Gospels, 
induced them to do the same : and though they were of a 
very low state and profession, he sent them to preach 
through the surrounding villages. They, men and women, 
silly and illiterate, going here and there through the country, 
entering into the houses, and preaching in the squares and 
also in the Churches, induced others to do the same. But 
as by their temerity and ignorance, they spread many errors 
and scandals all around, they were called to account by the 
Bishop of Lyons, named John, who commanded them not to 
dare to explain the Scriptures nor to preach any more. 
They defended themselves with the answer of the Apostles 
(Act. V.) ; and their master assuming to himself the ministry 
of St. Peter, answered, as St. Peter did to the chief Priests : 
It is necessary to obey God rather than men : God commanded 
the Apostles to preach the Gospel to every creature. As if our 

QiuB cum, dictus civis scepe legeret ei corde tenus firmaret, proposuit scrvare 
perfect ionem Evangelicam, ui Apostoli servcwerant. Qui rebus suis omnibus 
venditis, in contemptum mundi, per luhim pcmperibiw p)ecuniomb suam, pro- 
jiciebat ; et affici/iim Apostolorum usmpavit et prcesumpsit ; Evangelia et ea 
qiuB corde retinuerat per vicos et plaieas prcedicando, multos homines et 
mulieres ad idem faciendum ad se convocando, firmans eis Evangelia. Qiws 
etia/m per villas circiimjacentes mittebat ad prcedicandum vilissimorum, 
quorumeumque officiorum. Qui etiam tarn Iwmines quam midieres idiotce et 
illiterati per villas discurrentes et domos penetrantes et in plateis prcedicantes 
et etiam in Ecclesiis, ad idem alios provocahant. Gum autem ex temeritate 
sua et ignorantia multos errores et scandala cimimquaque diffimderent vocati 
db episcopo Lugdunensi, qui Joannes vocabatw, prohibuit eis ne intromitte- 
rent se de Scripturis exponendis vel praedicandis. Ipsi autem recurrentes 
et responsionem Apostolorum ("Act. y.) et magister eorum usurpans Petri 
officium ; sicut ipse respondit principibus saoerdotum ; ait ; Obedire oportet 
magis Deo quam Iwminibus qui prceceperat Apostolis, prcedica/re Evangeliu/m 
omni creattircv (Marci in fine). Quasi hoc dixisset Dominus eis quod dixerat 


Lord had said to them what he said to the Apostles; who 
notwithstanding did not dare to preach till they received 
virtue from on High, till they were gifted with perfect wis- 
dom, and had the gift of speaking every language. They 
then, namely Waldensis and his followers, through pre^ 
sumption and the assumption of the office of the Apostles, 
became at first disobedient, afterwards obstinate, and finally 
were excommunicated. Exiled from that place they were 
then cited to appear at the Council, which was held in Rome 
before the Lateran. As they were obstinate, they were ad- 
judged schismatic. Afterwards mixing with other heretics, 
and imbibing and spreading their errors in the land of Pro- 
vence and in Lombardy, they were pronounced heretics. 
They are hostile and noxious to the Church in the highest 
degree, they spread everywhere, appearing to have holiness 
and faith without professing its truth ; so much more dan- 
gerous because they are concealed, because they cunnmgly 
disguise themselves in different ways and disguises. It 
happened sometimes that one of their chiefs was imprisoned, 
who had in his possession many means of fictions disguises, 
with which he assumed different forms like Protheus. If 
he was persecuted as wearing a particular form of dress, and 
it was reported to him, he appeared transformed. Now he 
had a dress and the usual attire of a pilgrim, now he had 

Apostolis ; qui tamen prcedicare non prcesumpserunt, usqueqiLo induti virtiife 
ex alio fuermit, usquequo perfeetissime et plenissime scientid perltistrati 
fuerunt, et donmn Unguarum omnium susceperunt. li ergo, Waldensis 
scilicet et sui, primo ex prtesumptione et officii Apostolici iisurpatione, ceci- 
derunt in inohedientiam, dem/wm in contumaciam, demvum in excommunica- 
tionis sententiam. Post expulsi ab ilia terra, ad concilium quodfuit Bounce 
mite Lateranetise vocati et pertinaces, fuerunt scMsmatici postea jiulicati, 
Postea in Provincitc terra et Lomhardiai cum aliis hcereticis se admiscentes, 
et errorem eorum Libelees et serentes hceretici sunt jiulicati. Ecclesice infos- 
tissimi et perictdosissimi, uhique discurrentes, speciem sanctitatis etfideiprts- 
tendentes, veritatem autem ejus non hdbentes ; tanto periculosiores quanto 
occultiores, se sub diversis hoininum habitibus et artificiis iransfigurantes. 
Aliquando quidam maxinius inter eos fuit captusqui secum ferebat multorum 
artificiorum indicia, in quce quasi Proteus se tratisjigurdbat. Si qiuereretwr 
in una similitudine et ei innotesceret, in alimn se fransmutdbat. A liquando 



the stick and the iron of a penitent man ; now he had the 
fictitious habit of a shoemaker, now of a barber, now of a 
mower, &c. The others are doing the same. This sect 
began in the year of our Lord 1 170, or (as it is in MS. Rotom. ) 
1180® under John Bolesmanis or Belesmanis, Archbishop of 

Section IV. 
ABBOT Bernard's evidence. 

)URTHER evidence relating to the time in which 
the Waldenses made their first appearance, is 
sgjj:^^ given to us by an old Abbot who had his title 
from the Abbey called Chaud Fountain (Fontis Calidi). His 
manuscripts were published by Jacob Gretzer, S. J. and are 
printed in the Great Library of the Fathers ( " Bibliotheca 
Veterum Patrum," &c. vol. xxv. p. 1585, et seq. Lugduni, 
1677). It is supposed that he wrote his book towards 
the end of the twelfth century. His work bears this title, 
" Bernardus Abbas Fontis Calidi adversus Valdensium sec- 
tam." In twelve chapters he relates and confutes the errors 
for which the Waldenses were condemned by Bernard Arch- 
bishop of Narbonne after a discussion which took place under 
the presidency of Raymundus de Deventria a Priest of high 

ferehat habitum et signacula peregrini, aliquando hacula/m ipmnitentia/rii et 
ferra/menta, aliqiumdo sefingebat sutorem, aliquando harbitonsorem., aliquando 
messorem ac alii similiter idem faeiunt." "Inccepit autem, Juec secta ah 
inca/rnatione Domini mclxx siib Joanne dicta Bolesmanis Archiepiscopo 
Lugdunensi (in Cod. Rotom,. mclxxx sub Joanne dicto Belesmanis), 8fC. 

° John Belesmanis, or De Bellismanibus, 
being Bisliop of Poitiers in the year 1181, 
was elected Archbishop of Narbonne. How- 
ever, wlien he went to Rome to obtain the 
sanction of the Fope, the clergy of Lyons 
chose him to be their Archbishop and Primate. 
Pope Lucius III., newly raised to the Pope- 
dom, confirmed this second election in the 
year 1182, and made him Legate of the 
Apostolical Chair in the kingdom of France. 

John, in 1195, renounced spontaneously his 
seat, and retired»to the mona.stery of Clair 
Valle, Ubi usque ad mortem ciim maxima 
pietate et doctrina perseveravit. (See 
"Gallia Christiana," vol. iv. p. 130, et seq. 
Pari.s, 1728). From this notice it appears 
that Bellesmanis could not pronounce, in 
Lyons, his sentence against the fl'aldenses 
before the year 1182 or 1183. 


respectability. He, after having heard the allegations of the 
two jjarties, gave his final sentence in writing and pronounced 
the Waldenses to be heretics, under the heads of Avhich 
they were accused. Auditls igituv partium allegationibus^ 
pro'fatus judex per scriptum definitivam dedit seiite7itiam, et 
hareticos esse, in capitulis de quibus accusati fuerant, pronun- 
davit (ibid.). In reading his statement it will be observed 
that he, having called the Waldenses by the name by which 
they were called by all contemporaries who wrote in Latin, 
he assumes the liberty of deriving its signification from a 
dense valley a valle densa, in order to have an opportunity 
of making a moral allusion to their errors. The same obser- 
vation is applicable to Eberardus Flandrensis of Betunia (an- 
other author of the same century) who in the xxvth chapter 
of his book, entitled " Antihaereseos," says that they called 
themselves Vallenses eo quod in valle lacrymarum maneant (see 
Bibl. PP. L. C. p. 1525). And as we have here related 
the mystical etymology given to the name Waldensis by 
these writers, let us bear in mind what is stated by the best 
historians about the surname of Peter the wealthy merchant 
of Lyons (see " Helyot, Histoire Complete des Ordres 
Monastiques," vol. ii. p. 283, ct seq. Guingamp. 1839). 
He was a native of a vUlage called Vaud or Yaux in Dau- 
phiiiy, on the river Rhone near Lyons. Thence in his lan- 
guage he was called Peter de Vaud or Yaudois, and his fol- 
lowers are equally called Yaudois in the vernacular language 
from the name of theii* founder ; and from thence most of the 
Latin writers gave to Peter the name of Valdensis from the 
Latin name of his native place, Vcddum, and to his partisans 
that of Valdenses, changing the original " u" of Yaud into 
"Z," and giving to the word the Latin termination "e?isis." 
It is not surprising then that the two above-mentioned 
writers, dividing the name Yaldensis into two parts Val and 
densis, and adding two letters to the first part, and changing 
is into a at the end of the second, in order to moralize on 
the supposed etymology of the name, took the liberty of 


deriving it from Valle densa. Yet it must be confessed that 
this derivation is only a fantastical one. Let us see now and 
mark well the expressions of the Abbot on our subject. 
They are short and conclusive. 

" Pope Lucius,' of hap23y memory, was the president of 
the Holy Roman Church, when new heretics suddenly raised 
their heads. As if it were a presage of future events, they 
were called Waldenses, namely, from a dense valley, because 
they are enveloped in the deep and dense darkness of errors. 
Though condemned by the said Pontiff,* with their rash 
daring, they spread throughout the earth the poison of their 

Section V. 


)HE fifth document is from Reinerius Sacco, of 
whom Quetif and Echard, in their able work 
on the Dominican writers ("Scriptores Ordinis 
Prajdicatorum." Lutetite Parisior. 1719), say, according to 
Leander (fol. 148) and Antony Senensis (in Bibl. Dom.), 
that he was born in that part of upper Italy called Gallia 
Togata, in the town of Piacenza; that he was at first, for 
seventeen years, a chief and bishop of heretics, and caused 

" SanctcB RomarUE Eccleske pi'wsHdente Domim Lucio indiim rccordationis, 
subiio extulemnt caput novi Jusretici, qui quodam prcesagio futurorum dicti sunt 
Valdenses, iihnirum a valle densa, eo quod profundis et densis errorum tenelyris 
involvantur. Hi quamvis a prcefato Pontifice condemnati, viiits suce perjidice longe 
lateque per orbem temerario ausu evomuerunt" (Id ib. in PnTf.). 

' Pope Lucius III. sat on the Pontifical Catliarites and the Patlierines, and those 

Chair from 28 August, 1181, to 23 No- who, with a wrong name, call themselves, 

vember, 1185. with deception, the Humbled or the Poor of 

* The Waldenses were condemned, in fact, Lyons." Omnem hieresim quocumqne no- 

by Pope Lucius III., at a Council held in mine censeatiir per hujus Constitutionis 

Verona, in the presence of many Bishops seriem Auctoritate Apostolica condemnanuts. 

and of the Emperor Frederick, in the year In primis ergo Catharos et Patherinos, et eos 

1184, with these words: "By Apostolical qui se Humiliatoa vel Pavperes de Luyduno 

Authority, and by means of this Consti- falsa nomine mentiuntur. (Sacr. Concil. 

tution, we do condemn every heresy, what- Nova, et A. Collectio, torn. xxii. Venetiis, 

ever name it bears, and principally the 1778.) 


a great many evils to the Catholic faith in the province of 
Emilia; but that, after his conversion, having entered the 
Dominican Order, he defended, during the remainder of his 
life, the revealed doctrine against the false principles of the 
heretics with all his might, and wrote a book to the same 
purjjose. According to the same Dommican Avriters, besides 
the manuscript published by Jacob Gretzer (" Ingolstadii," 
1614, in 4to.), and reprinted in the " Library of the Fathers" 
( " Bibliotheca Patrum," torn. xxv. p, 262 et seq. Lugduni, 
1677), there are two other manuscripts of the same work 
of Reinerius. One of them existed in their Convent at 
Rouen, and was afterwards brought to Paris; the other 
in the library of Trinity College, Dublin (t. Ii. p. ii. 273, 
133), both on parchment.^ These last two manuscripts are 
nearly identical; but Gretzer's diflers from them both in 
the order of the chapters and in the disposition and ex- 
pressions of some sentences, though it is admitted that this 
also is a genuine work of the same author, excepting the 
German words interpolated here and there in the text by the 
German publisher; and, we may add, excepting the mistakes 
generally unavoidable when the manuscripts are very badly 
written and incorrect, as Gretzer confesses is the case with 
his text. Hear him in his preface (L. C): '■'■Eeinerii Com- 
mentarium ex papyraceo quodam codice admodum vitiose exarato 
exscribendum curavunus. . . . Utinam codex emendatior et 
emacidatior obtigisset ! And, in foct, the title of the book 
in Gretzer's publication, " Reinerii Ordinis Pra?dicatorum 
contra Yaldenscs Ha?reticos Liber," does not comprehend 
the argument of the author, as the greater part of the work 

' The title of the work there is : Summa Leonistif sire Paxipercs de Liiffdinw, quorum 

Fr. Reinerii de Ordine Fratrum Pradica- opiino)tes prasenti pagina annotatitur. In 

torum, Ve Cal/iaris et Leonistis, sive Pau- thesame two manuscripts in the fifth cli.ipter, 

pcribus de Liigduno. Tlie preface is ; In De Falsa Pcenitentia Catharorum, tlie aii- 

nomine D. N. J. C, cum sectcc hareti- thor states what lie was : Ego autem F. 

corum olim fuerint mtiltte <iute omnino fere Reinerius olim hceresiarcka, nunc Dei gratia 

destruelie sunt per gratiam J. C. tamen Sacerdos licet indigmts, etc., dice indubi- 

duo principales modo inveniuntur, quorum tauter, quod in annis XVII. quibua conver- 

altera vocatur Cathari sire Paterini, et altera satus sum cum eis, etc. 


is against the Catharites. So it is with the title of the 
fourth chapter, "De Sectis Antiquorum Hcereticorum," which 
does not agree with all the names subjoined there, as there 
is a mixture of old and neAv heresies. The same Gretzer, in 
a long catalogue of various readings (Bibl Patr., ibid. p. 
264), makes this addition to chapter iv. : ^^ Procter sectas 
Manicluwrum et Patherinorum quce occupant Lombardiam, 
et pra'ter sectas Ortlibai-ioriim, Etmcariorum," &c. ; and, line 61 
of the said page, chapter v., at the words ^''Eorum et rancor" 
is said instead, " Eorum et Runcarii." So, again, in chapter 
vi. {ibid. p. 269), amongst the Catharites a certain Joannes 
de Lugduno is named; yet, in the two other MSS. above- 
mentioned, this John is more than once called de Liigio : 
"Z)(? propriis opinionihus Joannis de Lugio ; dictus Joannes de 
Lugio hccresiarcha" &c. I mention this in order to show the 
learned reader that, since the Gretzerian text is so coiTupt, 
although under the title " De Sectis Antiquorum Hasreti- 
corum " there may be found some mention of the Poor of 
Lyons, that is no proof of their being of a greater antiquity 
than ap2)ears from the evidence of all other documents; 
and also from the following Chapter V. of the same text 
of Gretzer. Perhaps the adjective antiquorum is also a 

Before reading the document, observe that in the fourth 
chapter of Gretzer's MS. there are the following expressions : 
" Amongst all these sects which now are, or have been, there 
is none more dangerous to the Church than that of the 
Leonists, and this for three reasons. First, because it has 
lasted longer ; some people say that it has endured from the 
time of Silvester, and some say from the time of the 
Apostles." '"'' Inter omnes has sectas quce adJmc sunt vel 
fuerunt^i non est perniciosior Ecclesice quam Leo7iista7nim, et hoc 
trihus de causis. Prima est quia diuturnior ; aliqui enim 
dicunt quod duraverit a tempore Silvestri; aliqui a tempore 
Apostolorum." I am fully persuaded that nobody will 


agree with those writers,'" who, on the strength of the pas- 
sage quoted, endeavour to establish the pretended antiquity 
of the Waldenses. First, because the author simply relates 
here what some people say, aliqiii dicunt, without giving any 
approval to that assertion. Secondly, because in the next 
chapter, in which Reinerius speaks for himself, he gives a 
downright denial to that opinion, as we shall presently see. 
The time at which the document was written is given at the 
end of the manuscripts mentioned by Echard (L. C.) : " The 
above Avork was faithfully completed by the said brother 
Reinerius, the year of our Lord twelve hundred and fifty." 
"a.d. mccl. compilatwn est jideliter per dictum Reinerium opus 
svperius annotatum." 

" Chapter V. ' Of the Sects of Modern Heretics ' (Bibl. 
Patr. L. C, p. 2G4). Observe that the sect of the Poor of 
Lyons, who also are called Leonists, had its origin after 
this manner : The priuci2)al citizens in Lyons Ijeing as- 
sembled, it happened that one of their number died sud- 
denly" in their presence. By this event one of them was 
so much frightened that he immediately gave a great 
amount of money to the j^oor; in consequence of which a 
great multitude of poor gathered around him, and he taught 
them to observe voluntary [)overty, and to be followers of 
Christ and of the Apostles. And, as he was to some extent 
learned, he made them acquainted with the New Testament 

Chap. V. — Be sect'is iiwdcrnoriim liceret'tcorum. Nota quod secta Pnuperum da 
Lugduno, qui etiam Leonistw dktmtin; tali modo orta est. Cum cives mqjores 
pariter esseiit in Luijduim, coiiti/jit qu'ulam ex eis mori subito coram eis. Unde 
qiiiddiii inter eos titiitiiin fait tcrriti/s quod stittiin mngnum thesnitriun paupei'ibus 
croi/acit ; et ex hoc iwixiina miiltitudo pdiiperuin ad emu conjliixit ; qnos ipsedocnit 
habere volunUiriaiii paupertateiii, et esse imitatores Ghristi et Apostulorum. Cum 
autem esset aliquaiUulam littei'atus, Novi Testamenti textum docuit eos vidgariter. 

'" Murtmid, " The History of tlio Evan- " Riibys, I'u liia " Histoire de Lyon," 

gelical Cliurcli of tlie Valleys of I'iemont," confirms this statement, saying (page 2G8) 

London, 1058, page 2S ; Juhn Lviji-r, " His- that Peter Valdo lionirae grand riclio, le qual 

toire des I'jgliscs Kvangeliques de I'iemont," estant une soir siir sa porte avec scs voisina 

Amsterdam, ICSO, pages 15, 125, IfiO ; and jiur prander le fraiz . . . un de la trouppo 

a score of their imitators, copyists, and fol- tumba siidain raidc mort sur la place, etc. 


in their vernacular language." (Supply here what we know 
from other contemporaries, that Peter had the Gospels trans- 
lated by the two Priests Bernard Ydros and Steven de Ansa, 
and that he and his followers went about preaching and 
spreading errors.) " Being reproved for this act of temerity, 
he treated the admonition with contempt, and obstinately 
continued teaching, saying to his disciples that the Clergy, 
living a wicked life, envied their holy life and doctrine. 
The Pope then pronounced a sentence of excommunication 
against them, but they stubbornly disregarded it. And 
thus, to the present time, in every way they go on with 
their doctrine and with their rancour." 

Section VI. 


)ETEPt DE PILICHDORFF, S.T.P., wrote his 
book against the "Waldenses at the end of the four- 
teenth century, as appears from the thirtieth chap- 
ter of his treatise, where he says, that it was then the year of 
our Lord thirteen hundred and ninety-five : " Jam sicut scri- 
hitur anno Domini mcccxcv." There are three manuscripts 
of his work. The first*^ is entitled, " Oblationes contra Trlasre- 
ticos Valdensium." The second,^^ " Obviationes Sacrte Scrip- 
turte contra Errores Baldenses." The third" has the full 
title, " Petri de Pilichdorf Sacra3 Theologice Professoris 
contra Hceresim Valdensium Tractatus." (See Bibl. Patr. 
tom. XXV. p. 277, et seq.) John Leger, in his " Histoire 

Pro qua temeritate cum fuisset reprehenstts, contempsit et ceepit insistere doctrince 
sncp, diceiis discipulis suis, quod Clei'us, quando males vitce esset, invideret sanctce 
vit(B ipsoriim et doctriiue. Cum autem Papa excommunicationis sententiam tulisset 
in eos, pertinaciter contempserunt. Et sic usque hodie in omnibus terminis illis 
projicit doctrina ipsorum et rancor. 

" Diessenclis MS. " Nicolainus MS. * Tegersensis MS. 


Geuerale des Eglises Evangeliques de Piemout," at pages 20 
and 175, and many other M'riters on the Waldenses, quote a 
passage from a fragment of Pilichdorft' detached from its 
context, in order to coniirna by it the fabulous antiquity of 
the Waldenses ; as the same Leger and some of his followers 
are in the habit of doing with the authorities of several old 
writers on the same subject. The time at which the Wal- 
densian sect began is already undoubtedly proved by the 
contemporaries in the lirst live articles, and in the fourteenth 
article of this part will be established by an unanswerable 
evidence from the ancient AValdensian manuscripts. I shall, 
however, state here and in the next sections some of the 
principal passages unfaithfully quoted by Morland, Leger 
and their followers, to show that the historical truth is 
actually confirmed by the authority of these very writers, 
who, either through ignorance or malice, have been too often 
quoted against it. Let us first read the whole text of 
the Pilichdorft' fragment as it is printed. (" Bibl. Patr." L. C. 
p. 300). 

" If the Waldenses should say that they are sent, let them 
bring forward some proof of their mission, and say if they 
have been sent by God or by any man. They are not sent by 
God, because, in order to prove their mission, they say ^'° that 
a companion of Silvester in the time of Constantine would 
not consent that the Church be enriched in those times, and 
that he for this reason separated from Silvester, keeping the 
path of poverty; and that the Church remained with him 
and his followers who lived in poverty ; and that Silvester 
and his followers apostatized from the Church. Again, they 

Si Vahlenses dicant se missos, dicant suce missioim testimonium, et an sint 7nissi 
a Deo vel ab homine. Nan a Deo ; qui pro sum missionis initio (alibi indicio) dicunt 
quod socius Silccstri, tempore Constantini, noluit consentire quod Ecdesia Constan- 
tini temporibus ditaretur : et ex hoc a Silvest7v recessit, viam paupertntis tenendo : 
apud quern eti/im, sui-s adharentibus in paupertate degentibus, Ecdcitin pernwnsit ; 
et Silvestrum cum sibi adimrentibus ab Ecdesia; dicit cecidisse. Item quod post 

Mark this well, '• tkei/ say." 


say that three" (say eight)"^ "hundred years after Constan- 
tine some one came out from the country of Waldis/' called 
Peter, who equally taught the path of poverty, from whence 
the Waldensian sect sprung up. But what kind of wonder- 
ful signs are there to give testimony to these assertions? 
While on the contrary, the most famous actions and wonders 
of Silvester are known throughout the world." (Bibl. Patr. 
L. C. p. 278.) 

Chapter the First. " The birth and Origin of the Wal- 
densian heretics is this. Notwithstanding that the sons of 
iniquity are spreading falsehoods among simple people, 
saying that their sect lasted from the time of Pope Silvester, 
namely, when the Church began to have j^ossessions of her 
own. The heretics think that this is not lawful, as the 
Apostles of Christ were commanded to live without any 
possession of their own. ' Do not possess gold or silver,' &c. 
The Church answers, that the same Lord Jesus Christ who 
whilst in his mortal body said so to his Disciples, yet at the 
time of his going out and parting from them, he said (Luke 
xxii. ), ' But now he that has a purse, let him take it, and like- 
wise a scrip.' What he forbade at first, he did allow them after- 
wards. It is therefore allowed to the Prelates of the Church 
to have possessions of their own to defend the Church, &c. 

annos^^ treceiitos a Constantino suiTexit quidam e ret/tone Wiildis Petriis nominatus, 
qui similiier inam pmipertatis docuit, a qiilhus secta Waldcnsis est orta. Sed qiice 
signa virtutum pnedictis pe7-Iiibent testimomum ? cum htmen facta cehberriina et 
miracula Silvestri totum mundum non laiiienint. 

Caput 1 . — Orius et oriijo hccreticontm Wuldensiiim talis est. Licet iniqiiittdis 
filii ciiram simpUcibus mentiantur dicentes, sectam eorum. durnsse a temporibus 
Silvestri Papa, quando videlicet Ecclesia cocpit habere proprias possessioms. Hue 
hayresiarclia; rcputant non licere, cum Apostoli Christi sine proprio jussi sint vivere. 
(Matth. X.) : Nolite possidere aiirum neque ar;jentum, etc. Respondet Ecclesia, 
quod idem Domimis Jesus Cliri^tus, qui quamdiu mansit in corpore mortali dixit ad 
discipulos verbum jnwmissuin ; ipse tempore i-ccessus et separationis ab eis dixit 
(Lucse xxii.) : Sed nunc qui habet sacculum tollat similiter et pa-am. Quod prius 
prohibuit. postea concessit. Ideo licet Pr(flatis Ecclesiasticis habere proprinm ad 

" This three is a mistake of the tian- densian manuscripts, 
piribcr. It must be eiyht hundred years, as " Vaiul or Vaux, in Latin Valdiim, b^' tlie 

tlip same author says, iu the next passage. Kliune, near Lyons. 
an4 we shall see it also stated in the Wal- 


Then they (the WaldciiscEi) state a falsehood wheu they say 
that their sect lasted from the time of Pope SUvester. 
Wherefore, it is to be marked, that about eight hundred years 
after Pope Silvester, at the time of Imiocent II.," in the 
town of Walden, which is situated on the frontier of France, 
there Avas a certain rich citizen, who either read himself, or 
heard that the Lord said to a youth (Matth. xix. ), 'If thou 
wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast, and give it to the 
poor.' And as he went away sad, because he was rich and 
possessing much property, the Lord said, that ' A rich man 
shall hardly enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.' And agam, 
' It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle 
than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.' 
And after a few Avords, Peter said to the Lord, ' Behold, we 
have left all things and have followed thee.' Hearing or 
reading this passage of Scripture, that Peter Waldensis 
taught that the Apostolic life was no more on earth, and 
resolved to renew it; and selling everything he had and 
giving it to the poor, began to lead a life of poverty. Some 
other persons seeing this, were touched in their hearts, and 

did the same Having been a length of time in 

poverty, they began to consider that the Apostles were not 

(lifemlencUtm Ecdes'ium, ^c. . . . Mciitiiiiitur crijo quod ex tempore Silcesiri Pap<v 
i<ecla eorum dunwerit, Unde notanditm est'^^ quod fere octingeiUis aunts jMst 
Papam SUvestniin, tempore Iiiiwceiitii Fapie II., in c'ldtate Walden, qua; in Jiuibus 
Francia dta est, fuit quuUun civis dices, qui vel ipse legit vel aiidioit Dominum 
dlvisse cuidam adolescenti (Matth. xix.) : Si cis peifentus esse, vade, vende omnia 
quw hihes ct da pauperibus. Et cum ilk tristis abiissei, eo quod dives fuerat ninltas 
possessiones haben^, duit Duuiimis: Quia dices difficile intrabit in rajnum cailorum. 
El itermii : Multo facilius est camduia per foramen acus transire quam dicitem 
intrare in retjnum caloruni. Et post pauca dixit Petrus Domino : Ecce nos 
reliquimus omnia et secuti sumus tt. Putabat ille Pctru-s Waldens-is, cum hano 
audiret aut leijeret scripturani, quod inta ApnstoUca jam non esset in terra. Unde 
coijiiabal earn innovare ; et omnibus cenditis et pauperibus dati^, c<rpit vitam pau- 
perem ducere. Quod videntes quidwn alii, corde cumpuncti sunt et fecerunt simi- 
liter . . . Cum auicm din in paupertate fuissent, incwperuiit ayitare quod etiant 

" As Innocent II. was Pope from the year Peter WaWeiisis was a yuiith, or tlial tlie 
1130 till 1143, we must say either tliat the nianuscrijit wa-? incorrect, or badly co(iieil. 
author sjicaks lierc of tlie time in which 


only poor, but preachers also. And they too began to 
preach the Word of God. Their manner of acting being 
reported to the Apostolic See, the Apostolic Lord com- 
manded them to desist, because the preaching of the 
Word of God was not becoming for ignorant and unlearned 
people. They refused to obey, under the pretext that the 
Roman Court issued that prohibition moved by envy. As 
soon as it was known, the Church excommunicated them. 
And as they resisted with stubbornness, they were con- 
demned by the Church; and as they did not venture to 
preach publicly, they preached privately. Then in hatred 
of the Clergy and of the true Priesthood, assuming the errors 
of old heretics, and adding new and dangerous articles, they 
began to destroy everything, except the Sacraments only; 
and to condemn and blame those practices by which the 
Clergy, as a pious mother, unite their children, as the hen 

gathers her little ones under her wings And having 

so preached secretly for a long time, and under the ajjpear- 
ance of fictitious godliness having detached many from the 
communion of the faithful, and brought them to their sect ; 
they thought their preaching inefiectual, unless they also 
scrutinized the consciences of their followers, through hear- 
ing their Confessions. And after a time, they began at last 
to hear Confessions, to enjoin penances, and absolve from 

Apodoli C/iristi iion solum erciiit pmiperes, imo etiam pradicatores ; ca'pcnint et 
ipsi pneclicare Verbmn Dei. Quod postqtiam ad Sedan ApostoHcam pe7-cenisset, 
mandat Dominus ApostoUcus qvod cessm-ent, cum prcedicatio verhi Dei rudibus et 
ilUteratis noii conveniat. Ipm noluenint obedire, quasi hoc Romana Curia ex invidia 
prohihu'et. Quo comperto Ecdcsia exxomm^micavit eos. Et ipsi resistentes con- 
tumaciter, ab Ecdesia condeuinati sunt. Et quia jam in palam prcedicare nan 
jn-o'svmebant, occulte saltern pircedicabant. Unde, in odium Clericorum et veri 
Saccrdotii, ex antiquis eiToribus veteranorn7n litvreticorum et superadditis novis et 
damnosis articulis, incpepenmt, solis exceptis Sacramentis, omnia desiruere et con- 
demnare et reprobare, pei- qua Clems, velut pia mater, filins congregat, sicut ijallina 
conc/regat pvllos suos sub alis. . . Cum <niteiii hnii/o tempore furtive privdicarent 
taliter, et multos, sub Jjrwtensa sanctiffdi.-^ up/inr, nli siniuhitio7ie. a Jiihl'iniii rcinmu- 
nione ad smim sectam adducerent ; coyiiahiud Inutiles esse ipsoruin pradicntiones, 
nisi etiam scrutarentur comcientias credentivm siiorum per Confessiones. Tandem 
post svccessum tempons, inccppenint Confessiones audire, poeniten'ias in,'un(/(re, et a 
peccatis absolvere. Et quia crcdentes ipsorum viderunt et quotidie vident eos 


sins." And because their follo-wers saw and daily see them 
endowed with an exterior godliness, and a good many Priests 
of the Church (0 shame!) entangled with vices, chiefly of 
lust, they believe that they arc better absolved from sins 
through them than through the Priests of the Church. And 
if the Mercy of God be not pleased to inspire the Prelates of 
the Church to be more vigilant, there is fear that they may 
usurp for themselves still greater power." 

Section VII. 


^OIIN LEGER, in his history of the Evangelical 
Churches, quotes (at pages 15 and 171) amongst 
others a passage of the Rev. Claudius Seyssell, 
Archbishop of Turin, endeavouring to prove the fabulous 
Origin of the Waldcnsian sect by the authority of so good a 
witness ; and making him say, that it arose in the time of 
the Great Constantine, from a very holy man called Leo. I 
shall give here the full text of Seyssell alluded to, from 
which it will appear, that if Leger be not a deceiver, certainlv 
he was grossly deceived. Archbishop Seyssell had the 
people of the valleys of Piemont under his pastoral jurisdic- 
tion, and visited them carefully in their villages and houses. 
It cannot be imagined then that he knew less of the Wal- 
denses of his time and their history than Perrin, Morland, 
Leger, and others, who spoke of them at a later age. 
Seyssell wrote his forcible and elegant disputations " Ad- 

extet-wri sanctitate pollere, Sacerdotes vera Ecclesiw quampliirinios vitiis, proh dolor ! 
el miuiiae cdnidlibiis iiisi^lere, credunt se melius per cos a pea.ntis iibsolri jmsse, 
quain per Sucerilotcfs Errtcaup. Et iii.-:i Diriiin Cteiitentia di;/ii(it/t fiicrit Prirlntis 
Ecdes'uv majoreia iit.''pir((re viyihiiitium, titnevdiim eM ne forte mojorem s'lbi ttdliua 
Ksurpent potestatem. 

" Thongli tills last part of the dociiinent I have inserted it here to show the reader how 
docs not bear directly on the present suhject, far so fair a writer is to be trusted. 


versus errores et sectam Valclensium," at the begiuniug of 
the sixteenth century. I shall produce a few passages from 
the edition of Paris, mdxx., hoping that the reader will not 
be tired with seeing the same facts repeated many times, 
and m so many documents. The Origin of the Waldenses 
has been for more than two centuries so much darkened 
with clouds of artificial misstatements by a great many 
writers, that, in order to establish the truth, it is necessary 
to bring forward many more witnesses than would be the 
case with regard to an ordinaiy historical fact. 

" (Sheet I.) The weed of which we have resolved to speak, 
is the heresy of the Waldenses, who by the Roman Church 
are commonly called The Poor of Lyons. (Sheet II.) There 
is confided to me the country in which the infection of this 
plague either began or has obstinately endured from the 
beginning of the sect to this time. It is more than two 
hundred years ^^ since this heresy has been propagated in 
our diocese of Turin, principally in its extreme parts and 
amongst the gorges of those Alps, which divide France 
from Italy, both in the royal dommions of Dauphiny and 
those of Savoy : and the same sect has also in our age been 

(Fol. I.) Hoc aiitem, de quo loqiii dccrcviinuis zkan'ui, hwri'nis est Valclensium, 
qiios Pauperes de Lui/duiio Ecclesia Romaixt vuhjo appelhtt . . . (Fol. II.) Est 
ea mild regio credita in qua pestis hujus lues vd initium fecit, vel ab ipsa sectce 
orhjim ad hcec usque tempora ohstinatissiine perseveracit. Quippe in luce Tauriii- 
ensi Dia-cesi nostra, in extremis pra'seiiim ejus partibus et inter ipsas Alpium qua' 
Gallium ab Italia determinant fauces, tarn in reijia Delp/iinaH(pte quaia in Sabau- 
diensi ditione, supra annos ducentos hcec hcvresis inruluit. ^icdamque nonnumquani 

"" Jlarlt tlie words: If is more than two not then be exact; the author ought to have 

liiinilrcd years since this heresy has been pro- said, in this case, it is noiv about three liun- 

payatid in our dioeese of Turin, amonyst the dred years. Yet let us allow, for the saUe 

goryes of those Alps irhich divide France of argument, that the time meant by the 

fro}H Italy. This st.itement baffles the as- said exjiression he three hundred years before 

sorters of the immemorial existence of the the death of Seyssell. Now, deducting 300 

Vaudois in Piumont. Archbishop Seyssell from lol9, we have 1219 as the furthest ap- 

wrote his disputations certainly not later proximate year in which tlie Waldcnsian 

than the year 1519, when he died. Let us heresy could have existed in Pieniont. In 

allow that the words, tnore than two hundred Section XII. of this first part the reader will 

years, may mean any additional period of find a more positive proof on the same 

years less tluin one hundred, because the ex- point, 
jirossiou, tnorc than two hundred years, could 


not uiifrequently dcfoiuled by the inhabitants, both by arms 
and by public disputations and preaching. (Sheet V.) Now 
in order to come to the point, it is proper to mention the 
Origin of this sect, in order that everybody may know that 
it did not pi'oceed from a man in any way famous ; because 
its author, whosoever he was, had so low an extraction, and 
so little learmng and reputation, that his very disciples do 
not dare to mention his name publicly : and as regards either 
holiness of life, or literary pursuits and virtues and miracles, 
he had no renown at all. He was celebrated on this account 
only, that he gave his name to a very dangerous and im- 
pious sect. It is said that he was called Waldensis, and 
that he had the freedom of the town of Lyons, from whence 
the infection of this plague spread. Nevertheless,^' some 
patrons of this heresy, in order to obtain favour with 
common persons ignorant of history, tell the story, that 
this sect had its beginning at the time of Constantine the 
Great, from a certain Leo, a man of veiy great sanctity, 
who holdmg in abhorrence the covetousness of Silvester, 
then the Pontiff of the city of Rome, and the boundless 
prodigality of the same Constantme, preferred following 
poverty in the simplicity of his faith to being detiled with 

lib iiicolis et (innk et pnbUch dieceptationibiis concionibusqiie, nostra etiam cetate, 
ikfensa ftdt. . . (Fol. V.) Primum hjitiir {iit ad rem ips(tm uccedaiaus) Oriijuie}ii 
sectce htijus ea ratiune comuuiiwrare convciiit, lit intellhjant omnes, noii ah aliaijus 
nomiiiis viro processhse. Hie etenim qimliscuiiique fuerit, tain obscuro loco natiis, 
tamque nuUiuis doctniue iiulllusqiie existhtmtiouis fiiit, ut ne ipsi qiiklem ejus 
discipuli jtalain proferre audeant : iitpote qui neque vitw sanctitate tieque literaruiii 
scientia neque lirtiitum et miracidormn ijluria clarus, hoc solo nomine famosiis extitit, 
quod perniciosissima; iiiipiissiiiia'qiie seda ex siio nomine vocabidum indidit. Val- 
densis qiiippe (ut (ijuiitj uppdlahatur, et Luydunensis urbi.": iniiiiicip.s fnit, nude et 
jmiiia hiijiis pestis contai/io pullidavit. {Coiifunditiir fabiiht Jicti nucUiris.') Quaiiwis 
nonnulli liujus lueresis assa-to7'es, ad blaiidiendum apiid cuhjares et Itistoriarum 
iynaros favm-em, lianc eorinn sectam Coiistantini Mtujni teinporibus, a Leone qiiodmit 
viro relijfiosissimo, initium suiiipsisse fabulantiir, qui, execrala Silvestri Eoiiiamv 
vrb'ui tunc Pontijicis aciiritin, et Coiistantini ipsiiis imiiwderata larijitiom ; paiiper- 
tatem in Jidei siinplicitate sequi nudiiit, quam cum Silcestri pinqui opiilentoqiie 
Sficerdotio contamiiiari. Cui cum omnes, qui de Christiana rclujione recte sentie- 

" Here, at the m.irgin, is printed, " The fable of the forged nuthor is refuted." 


the rich and earthly Priesthood of Silvester; (Sheet VI.) 
and that all those who were rightly affected to the Christian 
Religion, having united with Leo, and living according to 
the rule of the Apostles, transmitted this rule of true 
Religion to posterity. What can be more fabulous than this 
falsehood? Amongst so many approved Greek and Latin 
writers, who lived at that time or afterwards, who is there 
that has mentioned this man (Leo)? while there is left an 
everlasting memory of Antony, of Hilary and other ancho- 
rites, who, besides abandoning all worldly goods, passed their 
lives in the vast wilderness. From this single argument it 
is made clear that this heresy had its Origin not from that 
Leo, or from any other man famous for doctrine and holi- 
ness, but from that very citizen of Lyons, called Waldensis. 
He with perverted texts of the Holy Scriptures, and with 
sanctity simulated under the garb of poverty, having per- 
suaded simple and unlearned men and women to adopt his 
own opinions; spread in that town and the neighbourhood 
errors not a few, under the pretext of teaching a new 
religion. Afterwards (as the inconstancy of men is eager 
for novelties) the number of his followers being greatly 
increased, and the heresy of their opinions having become 
evident, he with his disciples was sent into exile from 
Lyons. The greatest number of them took refuge in the 
neighbouring mountains, hoping, not without reason as the 

bant, adhcesissent, sub Apostohrum regida viventes (Fol. VI.) hatK per matms 
ad posteros vera; reliijionis normam transmiserunt. Qim sane commento quid potest 
essefabuhsiusf Qtiis enim est inter tot probatos auctores GrcBcos et Latinos, qui 
per id tenipus vel deinceps extitere, qui hujus hominis fecerit mentionem ? Quutn 
tamen Antonii, Hilarii, cwterorumque anaclioritarum, qui prceter reriim omnium 
humanarum contemptum, arctissimam in vasta solitudine vitam degerunt, memoria 
relicta est sempiterna. Quo iino nrgumento Jit perspicuum, non a Leone illo aliore 
idlius nonimis doctrin(B sanctitatisque I'iro ; sed ab ipso Lugdunensi cive Valdensi 
nomine, ha'resim hanc initiiim siimpsisse. IJic nempe, simplicibtis et indoctis turn 
viiis turn etiam mulicrculis, adulterinis Sacrw Sci~iptwce doctrinis et simulata sub 
paupertatis specie sanctitate, in suam sententiam persuasi-s, errores nonmillos sub 
iwvo religionis prcetextu, in ea urhe vicinisque locis disseminare caepit. Deinde (ut 
est humana inconstantia novarum rcrum cupida) aticto majorem in modum assecta- 
torum mimero et patefacta h(rresi, Lugduno cum suis sequacibm pulsus, in proximo 
montana looa pars maxima sunt delapd, baud incogitanter spei'antes, quod eventus 


event showed, that amongst country people hibouring under 
the want of worldly goods, and still more of learning and 
Religion, it Avould be easy to persuade them to adopt j^rin- 
ciples, Avhich, besides being pleasant in themselves, could 
without trouble be accej^ted by ignorant persons, when con- 
firmed by some kind of reasons and some authorit}' of the Holy 
Scripture. . . . The poison began to spread gently . . . and 
by-and-by some persons of some learning, but already badly 
disposed against our Keligiou, or for some cause enemies to 
the Priests, through oi:)position and envy, began to be united 
to the sect. . . . (Sheet LXXXIX.) At last, to put an end 
to our volume, I pray you, simple and unlearned men, 
whosoever have been deceived by these barbas and heretics, 
I pray you by the power of Almighty God . . . and for 
the salvation of your souls, I exhort and conjure you to be 
on your guard against these false prophets, who approach 
you in the dress of sheep, but inwardly are ravening wolves. 
. . . Who forged some genealogies of that holy Leo, avIio 
never existed, from whom as we have said, they falsely 
state that in the age of the Great Constantine their sect had 
its origin, and that in subsequent times others succeeded 

docuit, fore ut rusticance phbis, inopia rerurn mnltoqve magis ingenionim et dociriiuB 
Religionisque laboranti, ea facile persuaderet qiite, prceterquam quod conoipiscibilia 
essent pro sese, ratione insnper aViqwi et auctoritate Sacroe Scripturce, apiid hnperi- 
tum vulgus npproha?-i hand r/rarate posserit, . . Veiieniim paidiitim di fundi ccepit. 
Donee paulatim nonuulU alicujus literaturcc viri, sed aut jamprideui de nostra 
Relif/ione male sentientes, aut Sace7-doiibtis aliqua ex causa infensi, ad a-midationem 
invidiamque illorum, huic secter, adharere ccepei'imt. (Fol. LXXXIX.) Denique, 
■ut finem imponamus operi, vos o simplices et igiiari litterarum, qidcumqne ab his 
barbis et hcereticis decepti estis. per Omnipotentis Dei virtutem . . . et per salutem 
animarum vestramm, hortamur et obsecramus, ut ab litis fahis prophetis caveatis, 
qtd veniunt ad vos in vestimentis avium, intrinsccus autem sunt lupi rapaces. . . . 
Qui genealogias quasdtwi conjinguut illius s. Leouis, qui numquam fuit, a quo 
tempore Constantini Magni sectam hanc, ut j^rcedi.rinius, initium habiusse et alios 
illi per tempwa successisse, vimtiuniur. 

Section VIII. 


HERE are some other authors to be quoted, not 

because their authority is necessary to confirm 
what is already proved by the testimony of so 
many contemporaries, but because they are brought forward 
by John Leger, as holding the faljulous antiquity of the 
Waldenses, whilst it evidently appears that they are all 
against it. Eneas Sylvius Piccolomini, afterwards Pivis II. 
(1458) is the first in order of time. His authority quoted 
by Leger (L. C. page 172) does not prove anything for him. 
Piccolimini, speaking of the Waldenses, says that they were 
a pestilent faction long ago condemned. Une faction pesti- 
lente et de long terns C07idemnee. Considering the date at 
which the AValdenses were first condemned, namely about 
sixteen years^'* before the end of the twelfth century; and 
the time in which Eneas Sylvius wrote his Bohemian His- 
tory, namely about the middle of the fifteenth century, every 
body will perceive that the expression " long ago'^ can- 
not be used to prove for the Waldensian sect any greater 
antiquity than the real one of about two centuries and a 
half before the time in which Piccolomini wrote his history. 
The passage (TEnetc Sylvii " Opera quaj extant omnia." 
" Historia Bohemica," cap. 35, p. 103, Basileas, 1571) is this : 
" They (the followers of WicklifF) broke forth into blas- 
phemies, and began to clamour against all Priests ; and re- 
tiring from the Catholic Church, gave their names to the im- 
pious and foolish Waldensian sect. The doctrines of this 
pestilent faction long ago condemned are these," &c. 

" Promperunt in bla^hemias et . . . in onines latrare Sacerclotes ccfpeiimt, et 
ah JEcclesia Catholica recedentes, impiam Valdensium sectam atque insaniam amplexi 
sunt, Hujtts pest'ifei'a ac jam pridem damnatce factionis dogmata sunt, etc. 

" By Pope Lucius III., tlie year 11S4. (See our note 8.) 


Section IX. 


J HE second in order of time is Samuel Casini or de 
Casinis, who by the same J. Leger (L. C. p. 15) 
is made to say that the Waldenses are as old as 
the Christian Church: and the same Leger (L. C. 172) 
assures us that Casini says that he for his part cannot demj 
that the Waldenses always had been and still were memhers of 
the Christian Church. I could not find in the principal 
libraries of England or Italy Casini's Vittoria Trionfale 
quoted by Leger (L. C). But I have found in the King's 
Library of Turin, a little Latin volume of the same author, 
printed in the same year 1.550, and at the same place (Cuneo) 
as mentioned by Leger, in which the same argument is 
treated; but the expressions are quite contrary to those 
stated by Leger. The book begins thus : De statu Ecclesice, 
Be Purgaiorio, De Suffragiis Defunctorum, De Corpore 
Christi. Lihellus feliciter i7icipit contra Valdenses qui hccc 
omnia negant. At the end of the volume there is printed : 
Perfectus est iste tractatulus per me Fratrem Samuelem de 
Casinis die 26 Octobris 1510 die Sabbati in mane. Impres- 
sum autem per vie Simonem Bevilaqua Papieiisem in egregio 
oppido Cunei anno nostra' salutis 1510. Let us hear what he 
says on the point. 

" These (pp. 2, 3) are the arguments of the Waldenses, in 
their substance extracted by myself from their sayings, from 
which it clearly appears, that tliey conclude., that they are the 
Church of God, and that the real Pope is amongst them. 
The truth is manifestly the reverse ; because what they say 
caimot be proved by any direct or indirect authority of the 

Ista sunt argtimenta Vahlendum vlrtualitcr ex suis dictis a meexcei-pta, e-rquibus 
clarepatet ipsos infeire quod ipsi gitnt EcclesiaDei, et quod in ipsis est vei-us Papa. In 
contrarhim patet Veritas, en quod e.r nulla auctoritate Scripturm, neque directe neqne 


Holy Scrijjture, and besides it is repugnant to all reason. 
.... From what {f've pages before the end) has been said, 
after a sufficient division, it follows that the barbarians and 
the Jews, who evidently are infidels, or the Valdenses who 
do not know the Church of God, and who deny the practices 
of the Church of God, which she now holds, and has received 
from the jirimitive Church, are not the Church of God." 

Section X. 


^|)IIE third, m order of time, is the famous Edmund 
Chamjiion, S. I., who towards the end of his life 
in London, gave in his little pamphlet an eloquent 
and forcible account of his own Catholic persuasion to the 
English " Academicians." A passage of his also is grossly 
misrepresented by John Leger, who says (L. C. p. 15), 
that Champion calls the Waldenses Majores nostras, and 
from this appellation argues that Champion means to say 
that the Waldenses are more ancient than the Church of 
Rome. And the same Leger repeating again (L. C. p. 171) 
the Majores nostras as said by Edmond Champion, adds sati- 
rically : " Yes your Majors, from whom you have much 
degenerated," Dojit vous avez Men degenere. Now let us 
read the only passage in the Address of Champion ^^ to which 
Leger can possibly have alluded, and mark either the igno- 
rance or the impudence of this undeservedly celebrated 
historian of the Waldenses. 

hid'irecte potest hoc elici, imo repugnat onuii rationi. . . Ex dictis ergo (^ji/vbatur) 
a siijficienti divisione, non esse Ecclesiam Dei barbaros et Jvdaos qui expresse sunt 
infideles, nee Valdenses qui ignorant Ei.clesiain Dei, et qni negant modum Ecclesite 
Dei, quern nunc tenet et liabet a primitiva Ecclesia." 

^ " Prascriptiones adversus hareticos : Ed- miris Anglice — Secunda ratio," pages 670, 
mundi Ccimpiani Hationes redditte Acade- 671, Jfognntife, anno JIDCII, 


" If the heretics shoukl wish to have a Church, they are 
obliged to establish one in the darkness, and call by the 
name of their fathers those whom they had not known, and 
no mortal man had ever seen. If perchance they would not 
glory to acknowledge tor their ancestors those who were 
evidently heretics, as Aerius, Jovmianus, Vigilantius, liel- 
vidius, the Iconoclasts, Berengarius, the Waldenses, Lo- 
thardus, Wickleff, IIuss, from whom they have begged 
some fraofments of doctrine." 

Section XI. 


jHERE ai-e two other Catholic writers of the 
middle of the seventeenth century, quoted by 
Morlaud, Leger, and a great number of their 
abettors, in order to confirm by some detached passages 
stolen from them the immemorial antiquity of the Wal- 
densian sect. The first is the Reverend Mark Aurelius 
Rorengo, or Rorenco, of the Counts of Lucerna, one of the 
Waldensian valleys. Sir James Morland ("History of the 
Evangelical Churches of the Valleys of Piemont." London, 
1658, pp. 13 to 28,) and prmcipally John Leger ("Histoire 
Generale." Amsterdam, 1680, pp. 14, 163, 173,) quoting 
Rorengo with praise, makes him say generally that " There 
is no certainty of the time in Avhich the Waldenses first 
appeared, that in the ninth and tenth century they were 
not a new sect," &c. We only observe that Rorengo speak- 
ing of the different sects of the eighth, ninth, tenth and 

" Hi {Haretici) coguntur Ecclmam, si qumn volent, in latebris venditare, et eos 
parentes asserei-e, quos nee ipsi noverint, neque inortalium quisquam aspexeiit. 
Nisi forte gandent majorihus ilUs quos hcrcticos fiiisse liquet, vt Aerio, Joviniaiu), 
Vujikmtio, Helridh, Iconouiachis, Btrenijarin, Waklcnsibus, Lot/mrdo, Wiclcfo, 
Hussio, (I quibus iKStifera qufrduni frai/uientd dogmatum emcndicantnt." 


eleventh centuries, makes no mention of the Waldenses, ov 
the Poor of Lyons. When he mentions the twelfth century, 
he points out that the Waldenses were condemned in that 
century. But let us hear the Reverend Prior speaking for 
himself, and destroying the castle built in the air.*^ 

" They of the valleys, in order to show that they ax'e 
of an ancient source, put forward and boast to be the 
descendants of Waldus. . . . Now, Boterus relates, that 
from the year 1159, Waldus began to form a new doctrine 
in Lyons, and that he retired with his disciples into the 
valleys and Alps of the Dau^ihiny and Provence, and that 
some others went to Picardy. Gualterius says, that this fact 
happened in the year 1160, and that Waldus was con- 
demned at the Council of the Lateran under Pope Alex- 
ander.^" . . . Now there are persons who say that out of 
those who were exiled from Lyons, there were some who 
from that very time retired to the valley of Angrogna. 
But I believe that they only stopped within the mountains 
of Dauphiny, because there is no proof either that they 

Qiiesti delle valli si vacjUono e si otiorano di essere delU discandenti di Valdo 
. . , Ora il Botero rifei'i-sce die del 1159 comincib Valdo aformarsi una miova 
dottrina in Lions, e die in poco tempo sia stato cacdato da Lione, e ritiratosi con i 
suoi nclle valli e Alpi del Delfinato e Provema, altri in Piccardia, Gualterio dice 
die fosse nel 1160, e die sia stato condannato nel concilio Lateranese sotto papa 
Alessandro . . . Ora vi i dii vuole die di questi scacciaii da Lione, chiamati 
Valded o Poveri di Lione, se ne fossero sino in qiielli tempi ritirati nella valle di 
Angrogna. Ma credo che solamente si sieno trattenuti nelli monti del Delfinato ; 
poichi nan d trova die ahbino testiinonio di alcun siio proijresso, ni di gastigo : ma 

'* " Breve narrazionc dell' intioduzione body went then to Rome in order to be au- 

degli creticinelle Valli del Piemonte," Torino tlioriscd in their proceedings, and that they 

1632, pages 57, 59, 60. And "Memorie went back with a refiisal, is the only fact 

istoriche dell' introduzione dell'eresie nellc ascertained by the English Franciscan Walter 

Valli di Lucerna &c." Torino, 1649. And JIapes or Mapeus, who saw, and had some 

also " Esame intorno alia nnova Confessione conversation with two of them in Rome, and 

di fcde delle Chiese riformate di Piemonte," left a very interestingaccount about them 

Torino, 1658. in bis work, " De Niigis Curialium,"' kept 

^' This is Ale.xander the Third, who, ex- among the MSS. of the Bodleian Library, 

alted to the Popedom in 1159, held the third Oxford. The part of the MS. in which is 

Council of Lateran, which was the eleventli related his conversation with two of the am- 

gener.ll, in the year 1179, and died in liri. bassy has been published by Archbishop 

The assertion of Gualterius, that the Wal- Usher, in his work "DeCliristianar. Ecclesiar. 

denses were condemned at the said Council, . . . Continua successione," &c. Londini, 

is not confirmed, to my knowledge, by any l(iH7, I. 112. 
document. That some delegates of their 


came here, or that they suffered any })unishment ; but that 
many years afterwards, havmg much increased in numbers, 
they sjiread into different parts of the worhl. ... So we 
cannot state Avith certainty the time in which they first 
came here. It is not very easy ("Mem. Istor." pp. 6 and 
7) to find out precisely the time at whicli the Waldensian 
sect was introduced here, and what their belief was. Some 
persons thought that they were Albigenses already confuted 
in the time of Samt Dominic. . . . Others were of opinion 
that they were followers of John Huss and of Jerom of 
Praga. ... But the common opinion is that they are dis- 
ciples of Waldus, called Waldenses, or Poor of Lyons, who 
exiled from France, retired part into the corners of Provence, 
part into those Alps which stand between France and Pie- 
mont. They had this peculiarity, namely, to live in common, 
and to be very secret in their doctrines. . . . Besides, in 
order that their errors might not be there known, each one 
of them was ordered to attend publicly the Divine Services 
of the Catholics. . . . Now, without going from the proofs . 
(Esame, p. 9), from the very assertions of your own writers, 
it is manifest that the opinion, of your ancestors having 
professed the Thirty-three Articles from the Apostles to our 
own time, is a false one. . . . Because though from that 
time to the present hour, there have been many sects, or, as 
you say, churches, adverse and rebellious to the Catholic 

che moUi anni dopo, avenclo assai popolato, si sieno spard in molte parti del mondo 
, , . e cosi turn si puo avere contezza del principio del suo iiyresso, 

II sapere precisamente il tempo che /« introdotta la setta dei Valdcsi in qiiesti 
popoli, e che cosa abbiano creduto, non i taiito facile. Alcuni sono stati di parcre. che 
fvssero Albiijesi confiitatijino id tempo di SanDomenico . . . AUri li stimarono setjuaci 
di Giovanni Huss e di Girolamo di Pratja . . . Perb la comunc opinione i che siano dei 
seffuaci di Valdo, chiamati Valdesi o Poveri di Lione, quali scacciati da Frnncia. d 
ritirarono parte in alcuni angoli della Provenza, edaltrifra questeAlpi tra Francia 
e Piemonte. Ebbero qtiesti in particolare il vivere in comune, e ser/retissinn ndla 
dottrina. Ami per non palesare allora i loro errori, cimcuno era esortato di andare 
publicamente alii Divini Officii Cattolici. . . . Ora, senza partire dalle priiove, con 
vostii proprii scrittori consta che faka sia I'opinione, cioh avere U vostri antenoti pro- 
fessata la Confesdone dei 33 articoli dcdli Apostoli sine ai nostri idtimi tempi . . . 
Che sebbene da quel tempo sinora vi sieno state sctte, o chiese, come voi dite. op- 
ponenti ossia ribelli (Mia Chicsa CattoUca, tuttavia non si trova espressamente che 


Church ; yet there is nowhere distinctly to be found in 
them the confession of the Thirty-three Articles published 
by you. . . . (L. C. pp. 14 and 15.) I have represented 
all these facts in order to prove clearly that it is untrue 
that your confession of faith has been professed from the 
Apostles to this present age; because, there would have 
been found different practices, different orders, different 
articles, without making these new ones in the year 1564. 
... To endeavour to send a date a thousand years and 
centuries back, is a malice deserving to be severely cor- 
rected. . . . According (L. C. p. 47) to Saint Augustin, 
the true Church is that which communicates with the Roman 
Pontiff, whose succession to Alexander VII. we are pre- 
pared to hear you say is not as well proved, as the succession 
of your Barba Martini from the Apostles is proved by the 
chronicles and the synods of the valleys : the catalogues of 
which we are always expecting with great desire that you 
should show to us : because to the j^resent time we could not 
obtain from you even one authentic proof of your continued 
succession in your beautiful Waldensian nobleness." 

sia statu in essei'e la confessione di 33 articoU che data avete alia luce. . . . Tutti 
questi siiccessi ho rappvestntata pei' far vedere evidentemente non essei- vero che la 
rostra confessione di fede mwva da stata irrofessata dagli Apostoli sino a' nostri 
secoli, pcrchi si sarebbero iftd ritrovate altre discipline, altre ordinume, altri articoli 
sema fare questi nuovi nel 1564 . . . T^oler far jxissare un' antidatn di mille e 
centinaja d'anyii . . . i malizia da esser coiTctta con severiti. Vera i la Chiesa che 
comimica col Pontefice Romana, dice Sanf Agostino ; la di cui successione sino ad 
Alessandro VII. staremo aspeitando che mi alleghiate essere men provata che quella 
dagli Apostoli sino alii vostn Barba Martini, per le croniche e sinodi delle valli ; 
delle quali staremo con gran desiderio altendendo che i-oi facciate vedere i cataloghi, 
mentre sino ad era non abbiatno da I'oi potato ricai-are una pruoi-a autentica della 
continuata rostra bella nohilta Valdese. 


Section XII. 


,HE Reverend Theodoras Belvedere is the other 
author alluded to iu Sect. xi. Morland (1. c. pp. 
28, 37), Leger (1. c. pp. 14, 169), and others, 
quote the following passage from Belvedere's " Relazione 
air Ema Congregazione di Propaganda Fede" (Torino, 
1636) : " The valley of Angrogna always and in every time 
had heretics." And the reader is directed by them hence to 
conclude, that this "famous missionary" (as Leger calls 
him) conlirms the supposed immemorial antiquity of the 
Waldensian sect. Now, let us read the full text of Theo- 
dorus, and it will be evident that his assertion does not 
extend the antiquity of the sect further than the time of 
Peter Waldensis. Besides the passages ft-om the " Rela- 
zione," I shall give some other extracts from the same 
author out of his " Turris contra Damascum," also printed 
at Turin in the same year, 1636, which will confirm the 
same point. 

" ('Relazione,' p. 37.) Further to the North, facing the 
West, there is the valley of Angrogna, which at one time or 
another always had heretics, either Albigenses or Waldenses, 
as is gathered from the chronicle of the Dominican Fathers, 
where it is stated that the holy Vincent Ferreri had been 
preaching there. "■'^ (P. 2i2, et seq.) " The unhappy valleys 
of Lucerna, Angrogna, Saint Martin, and Perosa .... 
always have been subject to various plagues of heretical 

Piii verso U settenii-ione al medesimo aspetto occidentale i hi valle di Aiiyroijiia, 
la quale sempfe in ttii tempo a in tin altro ha aviito a-etici a Albii/ed a Valdesi, 
isecondo cite si raccoglie dalle croniche dei Padri Domenicani, meinorando esservi 
ftato a predicai-e il Santo Vincenzo Ferreri. . . Le sforttiitate valli di Luccrnu, 
Aii'jroyna, San Martiiio e Perosa . . . sempre sono state so(/(/ette a varii Jlagclli o 

" Siiiiit Dominic, the founder of tlie Dominican Orilur, died in the vciir 1_'22, and 
St. Vincent l''ciieii much hiter, in the viar 1419. 


locusts, or of unfaithful caterpillars, mildew and grass- 
hoppers. Wherefore the most illustrious and most reverend 
Prior of Lucerna says, in his Narrative of the introduction 
of the heretics into the valleys of Piemont, that it was the 
opinion of some persons that the first heretics introduced 
into the valleys had been the Albigenses, who came out 
from the mouth of Cerberus about the year 1160." .... 
{Ibid. p. 249, et seq.) "And since the same Prior concludes, 
that he thinks it probable that the heretics now living in the 
said valleys are the descendants of Waldus, I may be allowed 
to explain in a few words the time at which they arose, who 
Avas their founder, and how they came into the valleys, and 
how they changed their sect, adopting the reformation of 
Calvin. According to Guido, they arose about the year of our 
Lord 1170, from Waldus merchant of Lyons, who, excited 
by the heresy of the Catharites, which Avas spreading at that 
time, rose up and caused a schism against the Roman 
Chui'ch." ... 

It would be useless to quote everything Belvedere says 
about the Waldenses in his Narrative, as the present point is 
to show that this writer, by the expression that " those 
valleys always had heretics," does not mean a time prior, 
but posterior, to the existence of Peter Waldensis. This 
clearly appears, not only from the reported passages, but is 
further shown from his quoting an order, dated the 28th 
November, 1474, "against the heretics of the valley of 
Lucerna, called Poor of Lyons," bearing the signature of 
John Campesio, Bishop of Turin, and of Father Andrew 

di ereticali locuste, o d' iiifidi bnichi, ruhigini e cavallette. Onde imrra il molto il- 
lusire e molto Revei'endo Signor Priore di Lvcerna nella sua narrazione della in- 
troduzione degli eretid ndle valli di Piemonte, essere statu parere di alciini die i 
p-imi erctici i7i queste valli introdotti sieno stati Albigesi, i quali uscirono dalle faud 
di Cerbero I'anno 1160 in circa. . . E percM il medesimo Signor Priore conclude, 
parere a liii I'erisimite die gli eretid die era in dette valli dimorano siano discendenti 
da Valdo, mi sia ledto con due parole esplicare il tempo che qitesti prindpiarono ; 
Vautorc, e come vennero nelle valli, e come ahbiano mutato setta col piglinre la rifin-^ma 
Calviniana. Questi, secondo Guido, ebhero jvindjm circa I'anno del Signore 1170 
dn Valdo mercante di Lione, il quale comincib a sollevard e fare scisma contro la 
Chiesa Eomana, eccitato dalla ercsia dd Cattari, die a quel tempo si promulgava. 


John of Acqiia2)endente, Under-delegate of the Holy Office, 
as well as from a proclamation of the Most Serene Duchess 
Jane of Savoy, dated Rivoli, 23rd January, 1416, " against 
the heretics, poor of Lyons or Waldenses," in order to prove 
that the Waldenses were then in the valleys. But let us 
hear Belvedere again in his " Turz-is contra Damascum " (pp. 
26, 27, 30), where, besides repeating the fact of their being 
founded by Peter Waldensis, he reproaches the sectarians 
for having abandoned their mother the Catholic Church : 

" The Waldenses are those who, being the followers of 
Peter Waldone of Lyons, in France, were called at first the 
Poor of Lyons. . . Since that Waldus of Lyons, their father 
and founder, being a cunning and rich merchant, desiring to 
found and assemble a new sect through the persuasion of 
Satan, in order to comply with his licentiousness, resolved 
to renew the old Church of the Ajiostles, in which every- 
thing was in common, principally the wealth. And so he 
gave his riches in common, and a great many poor, who 
were starving, gathered around him. From thence the sect 
of the Poor of Lyons began. . . That the Waldenses after- 
wards had corroded the bosom of their mother, when, like 
the dog Cerberus, they bark so badly against the Roman 
Church, endeavouring to pluck out of her her soul and 
bowels, as Nero with Agrippina his mother, I think that it 
cannot be reasonably disputed. And that the Roman Church 
was to them a very kind mother, it is not onl}' true in some 

" Gceterum Valdenses sunt qui a Petro Valdone in Gallia Lugdunsi emvti, 
primum Pauperes de Lugduiw sunt uppcUnti. . . Qimniam Valdus ille Lugdu- 
nensis, eorum parens et avctor, cum callidus esset locuplesqne mercator, intendens 
(suasu dcemonis) novum seciam, ut swe libidini satisfaceret,instituere et coadunare; 
vetustam AjwstoUcamque Ecclesiam, in qua omnia conmiunia, p-asertim faadtates, 
suppediturentur, reiwvnndam ovi.^ubnt. Sicqtie npibits suis in commune enxjatis, 
quaviplurimi paiipei-es qui iiiidiii iniifu:icbantur,confurjeruntad eum . . . hincque 
secta Pauperum de Lvydimo inr/iniirit. , . Quod deinceps Valdenses corroserinl 
viscera mati-is, dum adeo contra Romanam Ecclesiam instar canis Cerheri oblatcrant, 
eidem viscera simtd et animam, Neronis instar erga suam mairern Agrippinam, 
eruere; arbitror non posse oppositum jure deduci. At vero quod Ecclesia Romana 
extiterit eis kunuinissiina parens, est adeo verum quam quod vei-issimum ; nam ex ea 


measure, but in the veiy highest degree. Because Waldus 
was her son, and he and his first followers were fed and 
nourished with the milk of her Evangelical Doctrine, and 
he in the year of our Lord 1170 drew his imjjious SAVord 
against his own nurse." 

Section XIII. 


)N the library of King Victor Emanuel in Turin, 
there is an unpublished manuscript in folio, num- 
bered 169; which appears to have been written 
a little after the time at which John Leger published his 
" Histoire Generale." The title of the manuscript is: " His- 
toire veritable des Vaudois," without the name of the writer. 
That part of the MS. which relates the facts which happened 
in the second half of the seventeenth century, is very in- 
teresting, and we shall make use of it in our second part. 
Here we shall only give a faithful summary of what the dili- 
gent and truthful writer says about the Origha of the Wal- 
denses in Piemont. And in order that every body be able 
to compare our abridgment with the original, the numbers 
of the pages of the said MS. shall be quoted. 

(Pp. 4, 5.) " Peter Waldensis from being a rich merchant, 
changed his manners of living, and followed poverty at the 
sudden death of one of his companions in the year 1160 
under Louis VII. king of France, and Pope Alexander III.^' 
That Peter "Waldensis was the founder of the sect of the 

ortus est Valclus, ejusque lacte Evangeltcce Boctrince nutritus una mm piimis suis 
sectariis et alitus, anno Domini 1170, rjladium iniquum contra jnvpiam mitricem 

" He sat ill the ronlillcul Chair from 1139 to 1181, as we liave bciuic rcniaiUed 
(note 25). 


Vaudois is stated also by John Dubravius, Bisliop of (Jlniutz 
in his fourteenth book of the Bohemian history (' PrestanntB 
ex Officina Gualterii an. 1552'), where he says: The author 
of the sect is Peter Waldensis, a Gaulois by nation, of the 
town of Lyons, a silly, ignorant and unlearned man, who is 
not worthy to be numbered amongst the serious heretics. 
' Auctor ejus Petras cognoiiiine Walden.sis, natione Gallua, civi- 
tate Lugdunus^ vir idiota, indoctus iUiteraius, nee dignus ititer 
serios hcereticos numerari' (P. 9.) At the time of the said 
Alexander III. a Galilean Council was held in the year 1176, 
under the presidency of Guilbert, Bishop of Lyons, who with 
the approbation of a great number of Bishops and Prelates 
condemned Peter Waldensis as a false prophet, hypocrite 
and enemy of God." 

Here I would call attention to what is reported by some 
other contemporaries of Peter Waldensis, and is also asserted 
by the Kev. G. B. Semeria ("Storia della Chiesa Metropo- 
litana di Torino," 1840), namely that another Archbishop of 
Lyons, called Bolismanis or Belismanus, condemned Peter 
Waldensis, and even exiled him Avith his followers from his 
diocese. Belismanis ruled the diocese of Lyons from the 
year 1182 to the year 1195.* 

(Pp. 32, 33.) " It seems that the first coming of the Wal- 
denses into Piemont was at the time of Philip Augustus 
King of France. They, after retiring to the mountains of 
Doujihiny, multiplied to such an extent that in order to pro- 
cure for themselves the necessaries of life, by degrees they 
crossed the mountains of Piemont and descended into the 
valleys of St. Martin and Lucerna in the commons of An- 
grogna, Villar, and Bobbio. This happened when Thomas I. 
Count of Savoy and Prince of Piemont Avas yet a minor, 
under the guardianship of the Marquis of Monferrato ; and 
the Savoyards adhered to Pope Alexander III. and were 
against the Emperor Frederick surnamed Redbear. Thomas 

* Sfc oiir nok' 6. 

42 THE OlilGIN OF 

having attained his majority was obliged to take part in 
the wars of his time, and could not attend to what was 
taking place in the mountains and valleys of Piemont, where 
the Counts of Lucerna still exercised a great power. It then 
so happened that the Waldenses had time to settle there and 
to multij)ly with their families ; and they were not molested 
at that time by the Catholic inhabitants of the places. The 
fact is that at the beginning the Waldenses ; keeping their 
religious opinions to themselves alone, and holding their 
secret meetings now on the very tops of the mountains, now 
in the grottoes, now in their low and dark huts ; gave no out- 
ward sign of their disagreeing in any way from the Catholic 
Doctrines. Besides, they appeared of a good moral and tem- 
perate life, and lovers of hard work ; and at the same time 
they frequented the Catholic Churches and occasionally 
approached to the Sacraments with the Catholics. And in 
order not to give rise to any suspicion that they were under 
the spiritual guidance of their own religious chiefs, they 
gave them the not suspicious name of Barba ; which in Pie- 
montese tongue means uncle, and is given to the elders also 
as a mark of respect ; and they thus disguised the honour 
shown to them under the pretext of relationship or of old age." 
(P. 42.) "But at last, James, Bishop of Turin, perceiving that 
the bad Waldensian and heretical grass had grown in the 
middle of his Catholic field, wrote to, and also called on the 
Emperor Otto, in order to obtain his imperial aid in exter- 
minating the Waldenses from his diocese, as the Bishop of 
Lyons had done.^^ This happened in the year 1209 or 1210. 
James obtained his petition and was fully authorized to em- 
ploy for the purpose even the imperial assistance. But, as 
immediately afterwards disagreements arose between the 
Emperor and Pope Innocent III., it seems that the Bishop of 

'* John Semeria, in liis "Storia dclla heretics going astray vith errors, and inflex- 

Chiesa iletropolitana di Torino," 1840, adds, ible with obstinacy had recently crept into his 

from old documents, that tlie Bishop, in his diocese. !Mark the word recently. 
application to the Emperor, said : That 


Turin was unable to employ the means promised to him, and 
in consequence the Waldenses remained unmolested " (Pp. 
48, 50.) " Under the same Innocent III. the Waldenses, Avith 
other heretics were condemned in the Council of Lateran." ^^ 

Here we shall subjoin some other particulars relating to 
the first Waldensian existence in Piemont, abridged from 
another manuscript, also existing in the King's Library of 
Turin, amongst Miscellanea Patria, Volume cxxii. The 
author of the MS. is Monsieur Vegezzi, a very exact and 
careful Avriter. 

" The oldest public document in which the Waldenses are 
mentioned who came into the district of Pinerolo, is con- 
tained in the book of the Statutes of that town of the year 
1220. There is set a fine of ton soldi upon any person who 
should give shelter or harbour to any of those innovators. 
Observe that according to the opinion of antiquarians, ten 
soldi of the money of that time are equal to about 280 francs 
or lire of the present French and Italian coins, a very heavy 
fine indeed. The said book of Statutes was published in 
Turin in the year 1602, with this title : ' Statutes and Orders 
given by the most illustrious Count, and by the Wisemen of 
Pinerolo during the year twelve hundred and twenty.' 
Statuta et ordmamenta facta per ilhistrissimum Dommum 
Comitem et Sapientes Pijierolii ciirrente millesimo ducentesimo 
vigesimo. ' Again it is ordained that if any man or woman 
shall knowingly give harbour to any Waldensis man or 
woman within the district of Pinerolo, he or she shall pay the 
fine of ten soldi every time he or she shall so harbour them.' 
Item statutum est quod siquis vel si qua hospitaretur aliquem vel 
aliquam Valdensem vel Valdensam, se sde?ite, in posse Pmerolii, 
dabit bannum solidorum decern quotiescumque hospitabitur." 

From the said document it is plain that in the year 1220 
the Waldenses were not resident or established in the dis- 
trict of Pinerolo, and that they brought with themselves the 

^ It was the twelftli General Council and tlie fourth of Lateran held in tlie year 1215. 


name of Waldenses, with which they were alread}' called 
before entering there. This is a proof against those partial 
writers, who, being forced by the historical evidence to admit 
that Peter Waldensis is the author of the Waldensian sect ; 
nevertheless, without any foundation, state and endeavour to 
make us to believe that the followers of Peter, coming into 
Piemont, united themselves with the Vaudois already from 
time immemorial supposed to exist there.®" Idle tale of 
story tellers ! 

The same MS. continues : " From the said year 1220 the 
Waldenses are not mentioned in any way in the Piemontese 
documents till the year 1334 in which the Prince William of 
Acaja gave an order to Belangerus of Rorengo, and to Uretto 
his nephew, who were the masters of Delia Torre, and to the 
other feudatories of the valleys of Pellice and Chisone. The 
order directed them to put a stop to the preachers of those new 
doctrines already excommunicated in the year 1332 by Pope John 
XXII. ; because the said preachers woidd not cease nor desist 
from preaching. After this order, there is a long silence 
about the Waldenses in the State Memorials for nearly a 
century and a half. Then comes a Rescript of Duchess lo- 
luuta, dated the 23rd Januaiy, 1476, and an order of Duke 
Charles I. issued in the year 1484 for the purpose of re- 
pressing the Waldenses, who would not desist from spreading 
their new principles. And it was necessary that the Prince 
should send a good number of soldiers to subdue them. 
At that time the Waldenses would have been scattered alto- 
gether, if the clement Sovereign had not, upon their humili- 
ation and begging pardon, been moved to compassion. He 
was satisfied Avith only levying a fine to defray the expenses 
of the war. From this year 1484 there is no public act in 
the Piemontese Annals having relation to the Waldenses, 
till the year 1535." 

=" Sue Morlanil's "History of the Evan- London, 1S27, page 18; Alexis Muston, D.D., 

gulieal Clmrcli ;" Williaui Jones's "History "The Israel of the Alps," Glasgow, 1857 — 

of the Wahlenses," Lomlon, 1812, page 343; Introduction; and manv otliers. 
\V. H. Gillv, M.A., "A Narrative," &c., 

TE E WA LDE N 8ES. 45 

Section XIV. 


^T may be objected against most of the documents 
already quoted, that nearly all the authors, con- 
temporary or near to the time of Peter Waldensis, 
are Catholics by profession, and some of them very bitter 
enemies of the Waldenses : and of course it may be supposed 
that they have not published what they knew about the 
antiquity of the Origin of the sect, at least from the time of 
the Gi'eat Constantine, or at the very latest at the time of 
that famous Claudius of Turin in the beginning of the ninth 

I answer, first. By those who make this objection no proof 
is alleged of the existence of this sect, either at the time of 
Constantine or of Claudius of Turin; their statements are 
not confirmed by any document or historical fact ; they are 
merely gratuitous suppositions. In consequence we may 
here apply that old sentence of the schools : what is asserted 
without proof, we have the right to deny without bringing 
forth any proof: Quod gratis asseritur, (jratis negatur. 

I answer, secondly, that Father Moneta at Section ii., 
Reinerius Sacco at Sect, v., PilichdorfFat Sect, vi., and Arch- 
bishop Seyssell, quoted at Sect, vii., have already dispelled 
the first supposition that the Waldenses are the successors of 
that holy man called Leo, who separated from Pope Silves- 
ter at the time of Constantine. It is not proved that this 
good holy man existed at all, and if he had been in existence 
then, he had no reason for separating himself from Pope 
Silvester on account of the prodigality of Constantine 
towards him : because it is a clear falsehood that Constantine 
had given to the Pope the Italian States, or even the crown 


of the Western Emigre. This is as great a lie in history as 
would be the assertion that the Great Constantine was one 
of the Popes of Rome. About the Spaniard Claudius, who 
in the first part of the ninth century was Bishop, not Arch- 
bishop, of Turin under Louis, son and successor of Charles 
the Great, I only say that he had no followers in his hatred 
against the Cross and the holy Images. Louis the Pious, 
who caused him to be made a Bishop, not knowing that 
Claudius was an Iconoclast; when he afterwards learned of 
his destroying the sacred pictures and figures, directed 
Jonas, Bishop of Orleans, Agobert, Bishop of Lyons, and 
Wilfridus, called Strabon, to write against and to condemn 
the error and the doings of Claudius. Dungalius also, an 
eloquent Deacon of the time, confuted his false opinions. I 
cannot refrain from quoting a few lines of the last-mentioned 
writer. (See Bibl. Patr. torn. xiv. p. 197, et seq.) : " Qualis et 
quanta est insana elatio et vana temeritas, ut quod a priinoevo 
tempore Christianitatis per annos ferme dcccxx. et eo amplius a 
Sanctis et beatissimis Patrihus et religiosissimis postea Principi- 
hus . . . in Ecdesiis et in quibusdam Christianorum domibus 
fieri coticessum, constitutum et jicssum est; unus homo blas- 
pheniare, reprehendere, co7iculcare, projicere ac sufflare prce- 
sumat." . . . Mark the words zinus homo^ hinting at his not 
having imitators in his diocese. Claudius himself in his 
letters admits that his people were against him, when he 
relates their saying to him that they did not believe that 
there was any divine thing in the Images, and that they 
venerated and honoured them in relation to the originals 
represented by them. The fact is, that his subjects were so 
badly disposed towards him for his destroying the holy 
Figures, that, when he died, the people of Turin were so 
furious against him that they gave no rest even to his mortal 
remains, and Crosses and holy Images were immediately 
restored with applause by the Bishop his successor. 

I answer, thirdly, that there are authors in no way favour- 
able to Catholics who confess the historical truth that the 


Waldenses were founded by Peter Valdo. It would be too 
long to quote them all here, but I refer the reader to the 
" Encyclopedie Metodique-Histoire," torn. 5"", p. 481, Paris, 
1791; the " Cabinet Cyclopedia," History, vol. ii. p. 247, 
London, 1834; the "English Cyclopedia," by Ch. Knight, 
Biography, vol. v. p. 479, London, 1857; the "Popular En- 
cyclopedia," vol. VI. p. 861, London and Glasgow, 1862. Mr. 
Schmidt, the author of the "History of the Catharites;" 
and Mr. Gieseler, of Gottingen, in his letters quoted by 
Alexis Muston, D.D., in the introduction to his "Israel of 
the Alps," Glasgow, 1857. The reader will be satisfied if I 
quote here only four authors. First, Mr. Perrin, amongst a 
great many mis-statements inserted in his " Histoire des 
Vaudois," Geneve, 1619, in order to please his Calvinists; 
(p. 1, ch. ix.) admits that " Valdo commenqa a enseigner les 
peuples les quals de son noine furent appelle Vaudois en 
Vannee de notre Seigneur J. C. Mille cent soixante." Second, 
Alexander Ross, in his " IIANSEBEIA," London, 1653, in the 
catalogue of the twelfth century, says (p. 219), " The Wal- 
denses so called from Waldo of Lyons, who having distri- 
buted his wealth professed poverty." Third, Mosheira, 
" Histoire Ecclesiastique, traduit en Frangois sur la second 
edition Anglois," Yverdon, 1776, tome iii. part ii., ch. v. § 
xi. ; " Origine et Histoii-e des Vaudois," clearly says, That 
the sect of the Vaudois is so called from the name of its 
author Peter, surnamed Waldensis or Valdisius, of Vaux or 
Valdum, in the Marquisat of Lyons, who employed a Priest 
to translate the Gospels, &c. into his vernacular language in 
the year 1160; and that in the year 1180 he stood out as a 
doctor teaching publicly the doctrine of Christianity in the 
way in which he understood it," &c. To this passage there 
is a note saying, " The A^audois, accordmg to the historians, 
came from Lyons, and received their name from Peter 
Waldus, their founder." No one who reads the documents 
I have here collected concerning the historical Origin of the 
Waldenses will give any weight to the opposite opinion of 


the English translator, who in another note, with some 
unauthorized quotations of Beza, Leger, and others, blames 
Mosheim for his having written the historical truth against 
their unfounded assertion. Fourth, Dr. Augustus Neander, 
in his "General History of the Christian Religion and 
Church," written in German, and translated by Joseph 
Terry, London, 1852, vol. viii. pp. 352, 353, writes : " It was 
quite a mistake to think of deriving this sect (of the Wal- 
denses) from an outward connection with the reforming spirit 
consequent to the time of Claudius of Turin. . . . All the 
accounts which go back to the Origin of the sect agree in 
this, that it started with a rich citizen of Lyons bj' the name 
of Peter Waldus (Piei-re de Vaux)," &c. 

I answer, fourthly and lastly, that the very oldest Wal- 
densian manuscripts, when read in their genuine orig'nals, 
and when sifted from some uuAvarranted accounts (which 
are mere legends), confirm the fact that Peter Waldensis is 
the true author of the sect which began and took Ids name in the 
latter part of the twelfth century. Gentle reader, be slow in 
condemning this my absolute proposition, but read first the 
following document, which is not published by Morland or 
by Leger, and in the next chapiter my remarks upon the 
Waldensian documents, particularly " The Noble Leysson," 
translated and published by them under false dates : and I 
am convinced that this point of history, called by Bergier 
( " Dictionnaire de Theologie, Vaudois) one of the most de- 
bated,^^ will then be settled indisputably and for ever. 

(Waldensian Manuscripts in the library of the University 
of Cambridge, Vol. A, fols. 36, 37, 38.) 

" Now this holy Church, also at the time of the Apostles, 
grew to many thousands, and in a saintly order, through the 
vastness of the earth, and remained for a long time in the 
verdure of holy Religion; and the rulers of the Church perse- 

^' II n'est peut-ctre auciine secte dont I'orlgine ait ^t^ i;his contest^e . . . que la secte 


vered in poverty and humility, according to the old histories, 
for about three hundred years, namely, to the time of the 
Emperor Constantine Caesar. But reigning Constautine 
leprous there was a ruler in the Church, who Avas called 
Silvester, a Roman. He was living on the Mount Soratte, 
near Rome, as we read, on account of the persecution, !fud 
was living the life of a poor man with his own people. As 
Constantine received an answer in a dream, as it is related, 
he went to Silvester, and was baptized by him in the name 
of Jesus Christ, and he was cured from his leprosy.^^ Then, 
Constantine, seeing that he, in the name of Jesus Christ, 
was cured from so miserable an illness, thought to honour 
him who had cleansed him, and left to him the crown and 
the dignity of the empire; and Silvester accepted it.^^ But 
his companion, as I have it related, ^J^rted from him, and 
gave not his consent to those things, and kept the way of 
poverty.^ Now Constantine went with a multitude of 
Romans into the countries beyond the sea, and then built 
Constantinople, as it is called from his name. Then from 
that time the heresiarch rose up in honour and dignity, and 

Fol. 236. iffclaa a qticeta aancta olfspa ac' al temp Be li appofltol cterac en moti 
milJjiera e en eant otUc pet la telionBeca Be la terta e prtmas pet moti temp en 'on-. 
Boi Be eancta teligion ; t li tegiBot Be la olepsa peimajeton en paotcta c en ftumilita, 
Begont laa antiquaa atotiaa, encctque ttcg cent ana co eij cntto a iJTonataniin empcti 
Ccaaat : maa tegnant eloatantin Icbioa un tegiBot eta en la glcraa (o cal eta apclla 
Silbcatte (fol. 237) toman, a qucat tatatia al mont Be actapf)io iosta IKoma, 
cna^ma ca lege, pet capaon Be petaegurcion, c menaba bita Be pautea cum li aeo. 
i-Baa Coatantin teccopu icapoat en Ii aopm:, enapma t teconta, anne a ©ilbeattf, 
e fo babteia al nom Be I" X' c fo monBa Be la Irfatoaia. jfHa elo^jtantin bcaent 
ae aana al nom Be X' Be tanta miactiosa enfeimcta p:nac i)ontat lui lo cal labia 
monBa, e liotea lui la cotona t la Begncta Bel cmpeti. jHaa el la tcteop, maa lo 
tompagnon, cnapma a^ anni tecontat, ac Brpattie Be lui c non conarntic en a queataa 
coaaa, maa tcne la bia Be pabteta, ifiaa Conaiantin ae Bcpattie cum mootcca Be 
tomana rn laa patt Baiitta lo mat, c aqui IjcBifique Conataminopoli cnajma ca c 
apelle leg Bel aio nom. Donea Ba quel temp la teaiatcha monte in l;onotc e en 
Begneta, e ti mal foton multiplica aobte la tctta. /tioa non ciesaen slpoatot que la 

" The two facta are denied by the most it wm invented for the first time in tlie 

accurate historians. eighth centurj'. 

*■ Tills statement is so gross a falseliooj ^' It is not known that the supposed vir- 

that we arc relieved from writing against it; tuous man ever existed. 


evils were multiplied upon the earth. We do not believe 
after all that the Church of God, on the whole, went out of 
the path of truth. But a part failed, and the greater part, 
as it commonly haj^pens, was hurled into evil. But the part 
which remained, persisted a long time in the truth which 
they had received. Thus, by little and little, the sanctity of 
the Church failed. Yet, about eight hundred years after Con- 
stantine,^^ rose one, whose proper name was Peter, as I have 
heard, and he was of a country called Vaudia. He, how- 
ever, was rich and wise and very good, as our predecessors 
say. Then, either by reading it himself or hearing it from 
others, he received the word of the Gospel, and sold the 
possessions he had, and distributed them to the poor, and 
took the path of poverty, and preached, and gathered dis- 
ciples. . . . He entered then into the city of Rome,^* and dis- 
puted in the presence of the heresiarch on faith and religion. 
There was there at that time a Cardinal of Puglia, who was 
his friend, and praised his manner of living and his words, 
and loved him. Yet at the end he (Peter de Vaudia) 
received the answer at the court, that the Roman Church 
could not endure his words, and would not abandon the 
path she was engaged with. And thus, the sentence being 

cUpea tie Tiio eta tiepattia macatnentTie la bia He berita Hal tot, mas una pattta cacstt 
e la maiot part, cnapma te usanca, itafcucljc en mal. J¥la0 la part pcrmaaa pctmas 
per moti temp en aqucla berita la cal ilJ) abia reccupu. (lEnarci la sanctita Be. la 
elersa manque poc a poc. iiKas enaptes 8 cent anc le Costantin ee Icbe un lo 
ptopi nom Bel cal era lJ:icro,ena!'ma po aubic, maa el eta Buna region ticta (HauBia. 
i3flas aquest, enagma Bion li nostre Berant anaBor, eta ric e aabi e ion forrmcnt. 
Oonca el If gent, o aubent Be li autre, receop laa pirollaa Bel ebanecli, e bcnBe a 
quellas coaao laa el abia c laa Bcpattic a li pabre e prca la bia Be pabreta e preBicIje 
e fe Biaciplea, e intra en la tipta Be IRoma e Biaputa Bebant (fol. 238) la reaiarclja 
Be la fe e Be la relioion. ffiaa en aquel temp eta aqui un catBenal Be ©ulfja lo 
cal eta amic Be lui, e laubaba la bia Be lui e la parolla, e amaba lui. 3 la pctfin 
receop leapott en la cott que la cle^ea romana non poza poitar la paiolla Be lui, ni 

'^ Tlie Emperor Constantine tlie Great been in Rome, and found a Cardinal friend, 
died the year of our Lord 337, which added and disputed there personally, is not con- 
to 800, makes 1137, the approximative time firmed by the contemporaries. Some Wal- 
of the birtli or youth of Peter Waldensis or dcnses went to Kome to obtain the Pope's 
de Vaudia, perfectly in accordance with the sanction in the year 1179 as we liave men- 
authors given above. tioned. Sect. Xi. 

'* All this pai't, of Peter Waldensis having 


gh'en, he was cast out of the Synagogue. Nevertheless, he 
himself jjreaching in the town made many discij^les ; and 
going through the Italian provinces, gathered a multitude 
of people, so that, in diflerent places, many adhered to 
their conversation — I mean of him and his successors. And 
they greatly multiplied, because the peojjle heard them 
willingly, on account of the word of truth being iii their 
mouths, and of their pointing out the path of salvation. 
And they so multiplied that there were joined to their 
teaching sometimes eight hundred, sometimes a thousand, 
sometimes very few. God worked wonders thi'ough them, 
as we are told by many who readily speak the truth. 
However, these fruitful works lasted for the space of two 
hundred years,^^ as we are assured by the elders. At last 
the envy of Satan and the malignity of wicked men rising 
up, not a little persecution took place amongst the servants 
of God, and they were chased from one country to another ; 
and their cruelty against us endures to the present hour."^^ 

non bolia ijabanHonar la bta atomenca. (Soona a 0i scntencia fo fa^t fora la aina.^ 
■nsoea. /9cnt De mcnt el mccegmc ptcDicant fn (a cipta Ut pluooro Beciplce. (ffi 
faccnt camin pet Ia0 rcoiona Ba Ptalia fe aiostamcnt cnapci que en pluaota pate 
nuitrcron moti en la lot contictsacion, tant cl mcaermc tant li succsfiot Be lui, e 
foton fotmcnt tnultiplica ; cat lo poble aubia lot bolentiet, empetco que la patolla De 
tictita fo0aa en la bocca Be lot, e temoattesan 6ia Be aalu. <& multipliqucion tant 
que BObenBieratnent eaiootcaan en li lot conseltj alcuna bee, 8 cent, alcuna bee mil, 
alcuna bee mot poc. Dio obtaba meiabilijas pet lot, enagma nos abcn Be pluaoia 
H cal patlan balentiebctita, jBaa aqueataa obtaa ftuctuoaaa Buteton pet Icepact 
lie Bui cent an, enagma eaBemonatta pet li bclfj. 3 la petfin, Icbant ac IcnbiBia 
Bel aatanac e la maligneta Be li tellon, petaequecion non peta ea ba entte li setf Be 
£)io, e Bceiteion lot Be tecion en tegion; e la ctuBelleta Be lot petaebcta cntro ata 
contta noa. 

" If this 200 is added to the 1137 we says that the manuscript was written at tlie 

have the year 1337 pointed out by the writer beginning of the fifteenth century, at the 

of the present passage. Consequently this earliest. (Antiq. Soc, March 10, p. 212, 

piece was written after the year 1337, and Cambridge, 1862.) 
perhaps much later. Mr. Henry Bradshaw ^* See the Article XIII. towards the end. 


Section XV. 


[gainst the proofs already quoted for the fact that 
the Waldensian sect did not exist before the time 
of Peter of Valdum, and that he is its real father 
and founder, there might be produced the dates assigned by 
Morland and Leger to the most ancient Waldensian manu- 
scripts ; which dates, if correct, would prove that the sect 
existed before the time of the said reformer. And in truth 
John Leger has printed the following dates, fixing 

La Nobla Leyjon At the year a.d. 1100 Page 25 
The Catechism „ „ „ 1100 „ 38 

The Antichrist „ ,, 

The Purgatory „ ,, 

The Invocation of Saints „ „ 
And, in his Chapter xviii. the first * 

Waldensian Confession at the year 1120. 

Now, if we clearly prove that the recited dates of Leger 
have not any ground of truth, and indeed are against the 
best evidence derived from the same manuscripts, which 
themselves tell the tale that they were written some cen- 
turies after the existence of Peter Waldensis, the last strong- 
hold in support of the fabulous antiquity of the Waldensian 
sect will be destroyed ; and at the same time the impudence 
of John Leger will be manifested, who so shamefully imposed 
upon the public, and misled nearly all who wrote on the 
subject after him. I have said, the^ impudence of John 
Leger, because my opinion is that Sir Samuel Morland was 
also misled by the same Leger, both in what concerns the 
history of the Waldensian troubles in Piemont, and in what 
relates to the dates of their manuscripts, given by the same 











Leger to Morland, and by Morland deposited in the Cam- 
bridge Library, and partly published by him, with an Eng- 
lish translation, in his " History of the Evangelical Churches," 
&c., some twenty-two years before the time in which Leger 
published, in French, his work bearing the same title, which 
may be called an enlarged second edition of Morland's. I 
am persuaded of this, because I cannot be induced to believe 
that Samuel Morland, an English public man, would wilfully 
deceive his readers with false and unwarranted statements, 
had he not been led by Leger to think that they were 
undeniable facts. And what I have said of Morland, I say 
also of those many fair and learned English writers, who, 
not having the means which, after the new discoveries, we 
now have to sift the wheat from the chaff, have been in- 
duced, through the same false statement of Leger, to copy 
and repeat his assertion again and again. About the public 
character of John Leger, I shall pi'oduce in the next part 
some historical facts which will show that this my opinion 
of him is too well grounded. 

After this short digression, let us see the true dates of 
the Waldensian manuscripts, principally of those in the 
Cambridge Library, because they are the oldest of all, and 
because they are solely quoted by Morland and Leger. On 
this argument I follow Professor J, H, Todd ("The Wal- 
densian Manuscripts," Dublin, 1865) and Mr. H. Bradshaw 
(" Recovery of the Long-lost Waldensian Manuscripts," 
Antiquarian Society, May 10, 1862, Cambridge), two authors of 
unexceptionable authority on the matter. " Besides the 
Dublin collection" (H. Bradshaw, p. 217), "all of which seem 
to have been written in the sixteenth century (from 1520 to 
1530), we have two miscellaneous volumes at Geneva and 
four at Cambridge — A, B, C, D, as well as more than one 
copy of the New Testament, all assignable to the fifteenth 
century; and in addition to these, at Cambridge and at 
Grenoble, one incomplete and one complete copy of the New 
Testament, which may be ascribed to the close of the four- - 


teenth century." With regard to the volume existing at 
Geneva, Mr. Bradshaw observes (l. c. p. 204) that it was 
" attributed by the librarian there to the twelfth century ; 
but from the writing of Dr. Todd and other judges, it is 
assigned, without hesitation, to the middle or latter half of 
the fifteenth." 

Let us see now more particularly the dates of the Cam- 
bridge manuscripts, in accordance with the order of age, 
under the guidance of the same Mr. Bradshaw (l. c. p. 206, 
et seq.). Volume F, containing the greater part of the 
New Testament and certain chapters of Proverbs and 
Wisdom, is assigned to probably the first half of the fifteenth 
century. Volume B, containing a good many various 2)ieces, 
and " La Nobla Ley§on," with its date partly scratched out, 
is assigned to probably the same first half of the fifteenth 
century. Volume C, containing some sermons and transla- 
tions from the Vulgate, and in addition, the beginning of 
another copy of " La Nobla Leyjon," with its date in full, 
is assigned to the middle of the fifteenth century. Volume 
A, containing translations, sermons, instructions and the 
historical passage pai'tly stated in our last preceding article, 
is assigned to the latter half of the fifteenth century. Volume 
D containing sermons, discourses and instructions, is also 
assigned to the latter half of the fifteenth century. In 
volume E there are different pieces in Latin, and some 
moral metrical compositions, and in one place there is 
marked the year of 0. L. 1521, and in another, 1519. The 
handwriting is perfectly in accordance with the sixteenth 
century. About the date given by Leger to the first Wal- 
densian Confession of Faith, we shall have a better oppor- 
tunity of speaking in our Third Part. Besides the criticism 
of antiquaries on the style, language and handwriting, by 
which the true dates of the manuscripts, as here stated, are 
fixed against those imagined by Leger, we may here touch 
upon some other internal evidence. First, In the treatise 
of the " Invocation of Saints," there is quoted the " Millelo- 


quium," which is not of St. Agostin, but of Fra Bartholo- 
mews of Urbino, and was written about the middle of the 
fourteenth century ; and Leger assigned to it the beginning 
of the twelfth. Second, The Catechism contains quotations 
from the Bible as divided into chapters ; and it is commonly 
admitted that the division of the Bible into chapters was 
introduced more than two centuries after the date assigned 
to it by Leger. For these first observations I am indebted 
to the Rev. P. Allix, D.D. (" Some Remarks," &c., London, 
1690), who, having given the above reported reasons, con- 
cludes thus (p. 169): "So that it seems these gentlemen 
(Morland and Leger) founded their judgments of the 
antiquity of these pieces on too weak gromids." Third, In 
the volume A, there is mentioned Doctor Evangelicus, the 
title given to the English John WicklifF, who flourished in 
the fifteenth century. And in the same volume there is 
also mentioned Peter de Vaudia, who appeared (as it 
is there said) about eight hundred years after the Great 
Constantine ; and facts also are hinted which happened 
two hundred years after P. Waldensis (see Article XIV,) 
Fourth, The sixth verse of " La Nobla Leygon," published 
by Morland and Leger, as saying : " Ben ha mil e cent anz 
C077ipli entierament'' — "There are a thousand and a hundred 
years fully completed "■ — in fact, has an erasure and an 
empty space, in the manuscript Volume B, between e and cent, 
and with a magnifying glass Mr. Bradshaw and others saw 
there the number 4 in great part cancelled. If, therefore, this 
number be inserted in the proper place, the reading will run 
thus : '•'• Be7i ha mil e 4 ceiit anz compli entierament" — "There 
are a thousand and four hundred years fully completed." 
And in this case the stronghold of the miraculous Waldensian 
antiquity is dismantled. Fifth, If the said reading should 
be uncertain, yet the famous verse of " La Nobla Leygon " 
could not give any ground for placing the existence of the 
Waldensian sect before the time of its true founder. And 
here praise is duo to the Rev. Th. Sims, M.A., who in his 


appendices to "Peyran" (London, 1826, p. 147), speaking 
of the supposed 1100 years found in "La Nobla Ley5on," 
according to the prmting of Morland and Leger, very wisely 
observes that, even on the supposition that 1100 be the true 
reading of the manuscript, it cannot be taken as the real 
date of the composition. This date, he ingeniously says, is 
the time in which the words " a?'a se7i al derier temps " — 
" now we are at the last time " — were uttered. And this is 
plain, if the whole sentence is joined together: '"'' Ben ha 
mil e cent a?iz compli entierameiit que fu scrita lora : ara sen al 
derier temps " — " There are eleven hundred years fully com- 
pleted since the hour was written : now we are at the last 
time." The meaning, then, of the composition is this : that 
eleven hundred years are fully passed away from the time 
in which the sentence was written : " Now we are at the 
last time." Let us ask, then, at what time the words 
alluded to Avere written ? The answer is : that the words 
"We are at the last time," or "the last hour come," — 
'■^ Ultima hora venit" — were written by St. John in his 1st 
Ep. chap. ii. v. 18. St. John wrote the said Epistle in his 
old age, and at least about seventy years after our Lord's 
birth. In consequence, these seventy years are to be added 
to the supposed eleven hundred years written in the com- 
position, which wUl give the real date of the manuscript, 
namely, the year eleven hundred and seventy : which shows 
that the composition was not written before the time of 
Peter de Vaudia. I have endeavoured to place Rev. Th. 
Sims' reasoning in the clearest possible light, because it 
gives him credit for his mgenious explanation.^* Yet we 

'^ Antony Monastier, in liis seventh cliap- caJidi, from whose work I have quoted in 
ter, " Origin of the name Vaudois," in order Section IV.), assures his readers that Abbot 
to maintain that the Waldenses existed be- Bernard dedicated his work to Pope Lucius 
fore Peter VaUfo, amongst other gratuitous tlie Third, and that that Pope, wlio con- 
suppositions, after liaving quoted the name demned the VValdenses, mentioned by the 
of Wallenses, given to them by Eberard of Alibot as dead (felicis recordationis), was 
Bethune, and that of Waldenses, given to Lucius tlie Second, who died in the year 
tlicm by Abbot Bernard of Foncauld (Fon<!S 1144; and lience concludes that the con- 


do not want this interpretation, as it is now well jirovcd 
that the number 1100 is not the true readmg of the manu- 
script : there is no doubt now that it is a composition of 
the fifteenth century. Sixth, This appears also by the best 
possible evidence from the last page of the manuscript, 
Vol. C, in which there are the first fourteen lines of 
another copy of " La Nobla Ley9on," and the fifth verse 
is fully written thus: "-Be?? ha mil e cccc anz compli en- 
tierament^'' — "There are a thousand and four hundred 
years completed fully." "There can be no doubt," says 
Mr. Bradshaw (l. c. p. 211), "that the Geneve and 
Dublin copies are both later than our two; and, however 
we may explain the omission from them, it is at least the 
evidence of two earlier against two later copies; and this 
. . , seems enough to satisfy the most strenuous advocates 
of the antiquity of the poem." 

After the alleged evidences in confirmation of my present 
argument, it would be a waste of time to add any further 
words. Let us then repeat with emphasis the fact that 
Peter Waldensis is the true author of the sect which arose 
and was called by his name^ in the latter part of the twelfth 

demnation of the Waldcnsian heresy must is clearly proved that the Waldenscs, under 

liave taken place before the last mentioned the name of Paiiperes de Lagduno, were 

year, and in consequence that the heresy of really condemned by the same Lucius the 

the Waldenses existed before the time of Third, at a Council held in Verona in 1184 

Peter Waldo. Now Monastier shows him- (s&e above, Section III. p. 16, and Sacr. 

self a very worthy follower of John Leger in Concil. Nova et ampliss. coUectio, torn. xxii. 

the publication of this new falsehood; 1st, Venetiis, 1774). 

Because Gretzcr, who published the manu- The documents I am publishing speak for 
script of Abbot Bernard, which was in the themselves, and disprove most absolutely 
College of the Jesuits of Bruges, assures us the unfounded assertion that the Waldensian 
that nothing is known about its writer, ex- sect and the name of Waldenses, or Wal- 
cept that he wrote Adversus Valdinsivm lenses, was known before the time of Peter, 
scctam : certainly nothing is said of any the rich merchant of Lyons ; and, therefore, 
dedication to any Pope Lucius, either by there is no need to refute all the particular 
Gretzer or by the same Abbot Bernard. assertions put forward by many, although 
2nd, Because the snme Gretzer has in the clever, yet prejudiced writers. I have men- 
margin of his publication, in the Bibliotheca tioned here this misstatement of Monastier, 
PP. vol. XXV. p. 1.585 (quoted also by Mo- in order to show the learned reader what 
nastier), a note saying that it was Lucius the kind of ridiculous assertions are published 
Third (not Lucius the Second) who con- by those who impose upon the public through 
demned the Waldenses. 3rdly, Because it party spirit. 



The above-mentioned passages of the two copies of " La 
Nobla Ley9on " are exhibited at the first page of this book, 
both for the fuller satisfaction of the learned reader and 
for a visible evidence of what has been said. 

Part the Second. 


Section I. 


ET US begin this Second Part by endeavouring 
to give the real character of John Leger, the 
famous historian of the Vaudois, in order to 
put the reader on his guard about his reports. 
Samuel Guishernon, a writer much respected for his accu- 
racy, and a contemporary of Leger, in his History ("His- 
toire Genealogique de la Royal Maison de Savoje, justifie par 
titres, manuscripts, ancients monuments et autres prouves 
autentiques." Lyon, 1660), at pp. 1013 and 1014 writes 
thus : " The minister Leger (John), the nej^hew of that 
(Antony) who was condemned to death and retired to 
Geneve, is a man of malicious and tumultuous spirit, full of 
spite and rancour. He, through his secret agents in Geneve, 
Switzerland, France, Holland, England, Germany and the 
Northern provinces, spread the report that his Royal High- 
ness, the Sovereign of Piemont, attempted to destroy their 
Jerusalem (he calls thus the valleys of Lucerna, Angrogna, 
&c.). He exaggerated the origin of those poor despised 
descendants from the Vaudois, or Poor of Lyons, . . . and 
endeavoured to engage in their behalf all the new religions 


in any way connected with them. He forged tales of 
cruelties so unheard of and extraordinary, that they would 
hardly be perpetrated by barbarians ; asserting that it is as 
true as the Gospel, that they have been practised in their 
valleys by the soldiers of H. R. H. to such an extremity, 
that by order of the Marquis de Pianezza, the executioner 
cut so many throats that the blood of the murdered people 
ran through the streets of La Torre. . . . While the truth is 
this, that, during the war, two persons only were executed 
by the sentence of Senator Parrachin. This trumpet of 
sedition published besides, that new kinds of torments were 
then invented; that little infants were devoured, and the 
brains of the murdered eaten, that the persecution of Dio- 
cletianus against the Christians was mUder than that prac- 
tised against the inhabitants of the valleys. And though the 
author of all these calumnies had a very bad repute amongst 
his own people, yet they created so strong an impression 
upon the spirits of the people abroad, that a great sympathy 
towards the inhabitants of the valleys was excited, and a 
great indignation against the Sovereign of Piemont roused. 
Collections were made in their behalf: and in England alone 
more than a million of francs^" were gathered; out of which 
the Minister Leger and his agents received the principal 
benefit ; from whence a dissension afterwards grew amongst 
them. Thence it followed that Cromwell sent Morland to 
the Sovereign of Piemont," &c. 

Let us see now what is said about John Leger, by the 
author of the manuscript ("Histoire veritable"). He thus 
speaks of him (p. 762): "John Leger has filled his large 
volume with calumnies and falsehoods and fables cunningly 
invented. There is no doubt that his uncle Antony was 
condemned to death for his crime of rebellion, as it is said 
in the sentence which I have read. Whilst the Governor- 

*" Samuel Morland (Thurloe State Papers, that occasion for the Waldenses ; and in 
vol. iv. p. 280, London, 1742) speaks of another letter he mentions £500 more, 
seven thousand pounds given in England on 


general of H.R. H. was the chief Magistrate of the valleys, 
and the Counts also represented there the Sovereign, Antony 
Leger, by his own authority, made himself the master and 
supreme ruler over all the people, and kept the valleys in 
an open rebellion against the orders of Amadeus I. and of 
Mary Christina the Regent in the year 1637. (Pp. 783, 784, 
785.) And j^et John Leger at page 70 of his volume assures 
his readers, with impudence, that his uncle Antony was 
condemned to death after his having been faithful to his 
Prince in the time of revolution." 

"The Regent Mary Christina on the 16 April 1642 
issued this order : ' That Avhen any inhabitant of the valleys 
should become a Catholic, the royal treasurers and re- 
ceivers of the revenues should pay to tlie Waldensian com- 
mons all the same sums which the convert was used to pay 
to them.' " 

The following are the very words of the order (p. 815) :* 
" In order that this conversion may remain within the limits 
of a mere and simple favour, so that nobody be damaged, 
we command that the treasurers and the revenue officers 
who are now and shall be for the time being, and that all 
others to whom shall befit, should accept and make a return 
of money to the tax gatherers of the (Waldensian) commu- 
nities, to the amount of all the impositions and charges due 
by each one of the converts, as if they by themselves should 
pay the amount in cash." 

Now John Leger has printed (l. c. ) the falsehood that 
Christina obliged the Waldenses, who remained heretics, to 
pay to her treasures all the charges from which the new 
converts to Catholicity were exonerated. Which falsehood 

* Affincho questa conversione resti ne' stwi termini di prira e mera grazia, 
di modo die nesswno ne senta pregiudizio ; ordiniamo che i tesorieri e rice- 
vitori presenti e d^avvenire, e a chi sara espediente, di accetta/re e rimettere 
agli esatiori delle comunitd, coine se le pagassero in contanti, le somme a 
che (iscenderanno gV impost i e carichi suddetti di cadauno di essi (con- 


was also printed before by Morland (p. 274); in accordance 
(I believe) with the deceitful instructions of the same Leger, 
or of his uncle Antony ; in these words : " Although the 
mystery of all this is . . . that those burdens which are 
taken off the shoulders of the revolters, should be laid 
upon the backs of those who persevere in the true religion, 
the better to break and destroy them." 

The reader will remember all the misstatements of J. 
Leger, which have been pointed out in the first part, in 
relation to the authorities of Reinerius Sacco, Pilichdorff, 
Champion, Arch. Seyssell, Rorengo, Belvedere, &c., distorted 
by him, and made to say the very contrary to their plain 
and natural meaning ; and also his having given false dates 
to the old Waldensian manuscripts, &c. ; and judge that it 
is right to apply to him that saying of Luther, reported by 
Rorengo ("Esame," &c. p. 37): " Q?a semel mentitur ex 
Deo non est, et in omnibus suspectiis hahetur." 

I will conclude this paragraph with another very striking 
document bearing on John Leger's character. Amongst the 
Miscellanea Patria of the King's library of Turin I have 
read a darkened printed paper of the year 1662, of which I 
here subjoin the extract, and a literal translation of the 
principal part. " The delegates of H. R. H. in criminal 
causes in the valleys of Lucerna, St. Martino and Perosa, 
against John Leger, Minister, born in the Valley of St. 
Martino, declare : That the third summons has been sent to 
the Minister John Legero to appear, in order to make his 
defence in relation to the many atrocious crimes, not con- 
cerning Religious matters, but of high treason against men, 
imputed to him. Namely, for many murders committed by 
his order or with his consent; comprising the murder of 
his servant, to conceal his having got her with child, and so 
not to lose his ministry; and for his having enrolled, and 
paid with money usurped from the commons, brigands, 
authors of misdeeds both against those of his own religion 
and creed, and against the representatives of the King, &c., 


&c. " That, as he did not appear under the security oflfered 
to him, to make his defences, a trial has been instituted, 
and he has been judged guilty of high treason against men 
for crimes committed by him from the beginning of the year 
sixteen hundred and fifty-six and since ; crimes which do not 
relate to matters of Religion : and bemg guilty, he deserves 
to be condemned, as now he is condemned to be exiled for 
ever, and to have his goods confiscated; and if he should 
come into the hands of justice, to be ^Jublicly hung till his 
soul be separated from his body : then his body to be left 
hanging by one foot for twenty-four hours ; after which it is 
ordered that his head be separated from his body, and ex- 
posed in the square of St. John, in the valley of Lucerna, 
upon the infamous column." The sentence was confirmed 
by the Senate with the following words :* " By public decree 
of this Senate to be engraved on stone tables, we determine 
that the sentence now recited, and justly pronounced against 
the abominable John Legero, guilty of high treason of the 
first order relating men, be put into execution. The year 
sixteen hundred and sixty-two." 

This will be enough for the present to show what reliance 
is to be placed on the assertions of the celebrated historian 
of the Waldensian churches of Piemont. 

Section II. 


)HE true history of the conduct of the Waldenses 
in Piemont will show that the reason of their 
having been often punished was not precisely 
their religion ; it Avas their breaking the laws of the country. 

* Sentontiam mox rccitata/m et in nefandum Joannem Legerum, ianqiiam 
LcescB Majcstatis humance in primo capita reum, juste prolaiam, executioni 
domandandam esse, publico Senatus Consulto lapkleis tabulis consignando, 
decernimus, 1GG2. 


We repeatedly read of the poor Waldenses being persecuted 
as well by the rigorous Inquisition, between the years 1206 
and 1228, as by the Piemontese Sovereigns; as, for example, 
in 1400, when, in the depth of winter, they were forced to 
fly to the mountains, and four score of them were frozen to 
death; and also by the sentence of the justices condemning 
them to be burnt to death, as was particularly done in De- 
cember 1475 in Susa, and in Turin, &c. Without denying 
similar facts, which, however, have been often much exag- 
gerated, I think we may trace the reason of this hard 
treatment by examining old documents. I begin with a 
letter of Pope Innocent VIIL dated May 1487, and printed 
by Morland himself (p. 199): by which the Pontiff autho- 
rized the Archdeacon of Cremona, Albert de Capitaneis, to 
proceed against the heretics, and to invoke also, if necessary, 
the assistance of the armed hands of the civil power. " The 
heretics," the Pope says,* "have endeavoured to draw the 
faithful into their errors, have despised the censures of the 
Church, robbed the goods, and destroyed the house of the 
Inquisitor, killed his servant, made war against their tem- 
poral Masters, and committed a great many other like 
abominations." No wonder, then, if the Waldenses, being so 
guUty, were punished with such exemplary rigour. 

I continue with the MS. of Vegezzi, founded upon the 
Piemontese annals: "In the year 1535, Francis I. King of 
France, occupied with his army the state of Piemont. The 
Waldenses, on this occasion, springing out of the limits pre- 
scribed to them, sword in hand, invaded the neighbouring 
places, pillaging the castles and wounding the people of the 
feudatories. At this time Francis was using all means to 
destroy the Huguenots in his kingdom; and he issued an 

* Alios Ghristi fideles in eosdem errores protrahere, Gensv/ras vili/pendere, 
domum habUationis ejusdem ^Iiiquisitoris) siibvertere, et qiwe in ea erant 
bona diripere et deruhare ; ejusdem Inquisitoris famuhmi interjicere ; cer- 
ta/men Jwstili modo inire, illorum Dominis temporalihus resistere, . , . infinita 
quoque alia detestdbilia ac dbJiorrenda facinora perpetrare veriti nonfuerint. 


order that the Parliament of Turin should also persecute 
the Waldenses. And on this occasion more than one of 
them was burnt, according to the barbarous laws of the 
time, in the public squares. After the death of King 
Francis and the peace of Cambresis (3 April 1559), Em- 
manuel Filibertus was restored to his states. He intended 
to clear his dominion from the heretics, and expelled the 
Waldenses from the places occupied by them out of their 
limits : and perhaps he might have cast them out of the 
valleys altogether, had they not been strengthened by a 
body of French sectarians. Though now left unmolested 
the Waldenses rose again after a short time, and, guided by 
their heretic minister, and helped by four hundred armed 
Frenchmen, fought against the castles of Filibertus. After 
many battles, the Count of Trinity conquered them. And 
also on this occasion many executions took place." 

Now we shall read the author of the " Veritable .Ilistoire" 
(p. 614): "About 1575 the Waldenses again offended against 
the laws of their Sovereign. The Parish Priest of La Torre, 
named Braide, was murdered by them in his own house. 
They had already denied him the necessaries of life in order 
to compel him to go away, which he, faithful to his obliga- 
tions, had refused to do." (P. 615.) "The Parish Priest of 
Dublon, who, by his good example and zeal, intended to 
keep his Catholic flock in their faith, was also murdered by 
them while exercising his pastoi'al duties in a poor house. 
The same Waldenses plotted to kill other zealous Priests 
attending to the spiritual welfare of their Catholics. A 
layman, named Vincent Buriasco, a' fervent Catholic, who 
was with the Priests, informed them of the plot in good 
time, and the Priests were saved. The sectarians, finding 
that their project was baffled through him, took theii* ven- 
geance and killed poor Buriasco instead. The heretics, 
being unsuccessful in their design of killing Andrew Tos- 
cani, a notary who lodged the Duke's soldiers in his own 
house, after the departure of the soldiers, entered into his 



house, plundered it, and killed the women found there. As 
it was then time of war, no punishment was inflicted on the 
murderers, and, in consequence, they grew every day more 
and more daring in their misdeeds. They robbed the altars, 
bui'nt on them the most Holy Sacrament and the images of 
the Saints, and (except in Lucerna) hindered the performance 
and celebration of the Holy Mysteries throughout the valleys 
in which they were simply tolerated." (P. 617.) "All these 
bad actions, and a great many more crimes, too long to be 
enumerated, had been perpetrated by the Waldenses during 
the space of thirty years, till 1600, without being duly 
punished, on account of the continual wars of the time. 
We can state with certainty that, in the said period, through 
the treachery and restless violence of the heretic ministers, 
and of their Waldenses, who already had become Calvinists, 
several hundred persons perished in the valleys by violent 
deaths." (P. 618.) " After this, it cannot be surprising if an 
order was published by the Duke obliging the Protestants 
to retire within five days into the limits already assigned to 
them, or to abjure their errors in case that they chose to 
remain out of their limits amongst Catholics." (Pp. 619, 
620.) "As the order was not obeyed in any way, and the 
Calvinist ministers continued their persecutions against the 
Catholic Priests who were sent to them, the Duke then 
issued another order, not unjust, but yet more rigorous and 
more strictly binding." (P. 755.) "Victorius Amedeus I. 
died of a violent illness, and Princess Mary Christina, his 
wife, obtained the Regency of the State. She published a 
new decree (the 19th October 1637) against the ever-dis- 
obedient Waldenses, requiring them to retire within their 
limits in the valleys, according to decrees already published : 
the order to be executed within three days' time, under 
the threatened penalties. The 9th of November followmg, 
the order was renewed. Nevertheless, the people of the 
valleys continued in their disobedience, nay, sword in 
hand, stood against the Princess. Antony Leger, the 


uncle of John Leger, the false historian of the valleys, wafi 
their leader." 

(P. 797.) "It is to be remarked that there were, from 
the ancient times. Catholic Churches in the valleys, and John 
Leger himself allows it in some parts of his volume, though 
in other places he denies it, in accordance with his fashion 
of contradictuag himself. In our time also (at the latter part 
of the seventeenth centunj) the miserable ruins of those old 
buildings may be seen. They were consecrated to our Lord 
with the names of the Saints, after whom they were named, 
as to our powerful intercessors with God and with His only 
Mediator Jesus Christ. It is also to be remarked that the 
sectarians demolished them, for the most part, after the year 
1550, as up to that time the said Churches were still stand- 
ing. And this act of impiety was executed with the help 
of foreign armies in time of war, when parish Priests, 
Priors, Religious men, and Clergy were cast out of them. 
Besides, it is not to be forgotten that the Waldenses, in 
order to obtain pardon for having so destroyed the Churches, 
entered into an obligation with their Sovereign to rebuild 
them at their own expense." 

I conclude this section by observing that more than 
once the Waldenses confessed that they had been guilty of 
grievous crimes. Among the documents, by which this 
observation may be proved, I choose the following peti- 
tion, signed by twenty-four Waldensian deputies, with the 
I'escript of their Prince. 

(P. 516.)* "Our most Serene Lord and Prince. Your 
poor and most humble subjects of the Valleys della Perosa, 
Lucerna, Angrogna, Roccapiatta, San Rartolomeo, and Pra 
Rustino, approach with very deep respect to humble our- 
selves at the feet of your most Serene Highness, and to beg 

* Serenissimo Signore e Principe Nostra. 
Li suoi poven ed vmilissimi suiUUti chile valli della Perosa, Lucerna, 
Angrogna, Roccapiatta, San Bartolomeo e Pro, Bustino, vengono con ogni 
riverenza ad umiUarsi aipiedi diV.A. Serenissima tutti a chiederli perdono 


pardon Avith halters on our necks, supplicating that you be 
pleased to show your usual benignity and mercy towards 
us, and that you would not keep before your eyes our great 
faults and our great misdeeds, because we have not kept that 
loyalty ichich was due to you from us, who are your most 
humble subjects and servants," &c. 

(P. 538.) The rescript, dated 21st November 1594, con- 
tains the following expressions : 

* " Both for having taken arms against His Highness, and 
for having caused many damages, many destructioiis, and 
conflagrations, both in particular and in general, both against 
His Highness and against His Ministers and other particular 
persons of the State," &c. 

Section III. 


jEFORE entering into the particular accounts re- 
lating the catalogue of the supposed barbarous 
murders described by John Leger, I think it ad- 
visable to recall to the reader's mind the substance of the 
general facts connected with the said particular details. 
Finding these facts faithfully reported by Lingard ("History 
of England," vol. xi. chap, i.), I will endeavour to give here 
his narrative, as shortly as possible, in his own words. 

" The Duke of Savoy often confirmed to the native Wal- 

col laccio al collo ; supplica/ndola di volere iisare clella solifa henignitci, e 
demenza sua verso noi, e non, risguwrdwre ai gram, f alii e manca/menti nostri 
in non avere osservata quella fedsltd die gli deveva/mo, come umilissimi siid- 
diti e servitori suoi, etc. etc. 

* 8i per aver tolto le armi contro sua Altesza, quanta per aver eommessi 
molti danni, molte ruine e incefidii si in particolare quanta in generale, e 
tanto contro Sua Altezza quanta suoi Signori Mini-stri e altri particolari 
dello Stata. 21 Novemhre, 1694. 


denses the free exercise of their Religion, on condition that 
they should confine themselves within their ancient limits. 
Complaints were made that several of them had formed 
settlements and established their worship without their 
borders. The Court of Turin referred the decision of the 
dispute to the civilian Andrea Gastaldo. After a long and 
patient hearing, he pronounced a definitive judgment, that 
Lucei'na and some other places lay without the original 
bomadaries, and that the intruders should withdraw, under 
the penalties of forfeiture and death. Permission, however, 
was given to them to sell for their own profit the lands 
which they had planted. At first they submitted sullenly 
and sent deputies to Turin to remonstrate. But a few days 
afterwards a fast was proclaimed; their ministers excommu- 
nicated every individual who should sell his lands in the 
disputed territory. The natives of the French valleys 
united with the natives of those belonging to the Duke of 
Savoy, bound themselves by an oath to stand by each other 
in their common defence : and messages were despatched to 
solicit aid fi'om Geneva and the other Protestant cantons of 
Switzerland. The Marquis Pianezze, the chief minister of 
the Duke, alarmed by the intelligence, marched from Turm 
with an armed force to suppress the nascent- confederacy : 
reduced La Torre, where the insurgents had a garrison of 
six hmidred men, off'ered pardon to all who should submit, 
and fixed his quarters in Bobbio, VUlar, and lower An- 
grogna. The insurgents promised that the soldiers should 
be peaceably received. But the Duke's soldiers found the 
bare walls, the inhabitants having already retired to the 
mountains with their cattle and provisions. Quarrels ensued 
between the parties, and the desire of vengeance provoked a 
war of extermination. But the military were in general 

" Accounts teeming with exaggerations and improbabilities 
were transmitted to the different Protestant states. The 
Duke of Savoy was represented as a bigoted and intolerant 


prince, the Vaudois as an innocent race, whose only crime 
was their attachment to the reformed faith. The Protestant 
powers were implored to assume their defence; pecuniary 
contributions were called for to save from destruction by 
famine the remnant which had escaj^ed the edge of the 
sword. In England the cavise was advocated in print and 
from the pulpit ; a solemn fast was kept, and the passions of 
the people were roused to enthusiasm. The ministers in a 
body waited on Cromwell to recommend the Vaudois to his 
l^rotection. And he first, through Stouppe, the minister of 
the French Church in London, offered them his support, 
and to transplant them to Ireland/' The first was accepted, 
the other declined. Next, he solicited the King of France 
to join with him in mediating for them, and received in 
answer that Louis had already interposed his good offices, 
and expected a favourable result : and, lastly, he sent Mor- 
land as ambassador to Turin, where he was honourably re- 
ceived and entertained at the Duke's expense. It was in 
August in the year 1655 when Morland was authorized to 
announce that the Duke, at the request of the King of France, 
had granted an amnesty to the Vaudois, and confirmed their 
ancient privileges; that the boon had been gratefully re- 
ceived by the insurgents; and the natives of the valleys, 
Protestant and Catholic, had met, embraced each other with 
tears, and sworn to live m perpetual amity together." 

I conclude this true sketch of facts related by Lingard, by 
transcribing a document from the papers of Thurloe, the sec- 
retary of Cromwell, given by the same author in a foot-note. 
It relates to the svipposition that a regiment of Irish Papists, 
commanded by Prince Thomas of Savoy, was with Pianezza : 
and to them were attributed, of course, the most horrible 

"' Amongst the State Papers of Thurloe land some lands to the poor eriled; and that 

quoted above, there are (vol. iii. pp. 469-461) the Waldensian Ministers did not accept the 

extracts of letters written to Stouppe by offering on the ground that they oiiyht not 

Mr. Leger (Antony, the uncle of .John, see to forsake those churches, which can prove 

the first section of this part): in which the their succession from the time of the Apostles, 

fact is confirmed that his highness, the Lord &c. We have shown the falsehood of this 

Protector, had really offered to yire in Ire- last assertion in the first part. 


barbarities. On inquiry, it was discovered that these su[)- 
posed Irishmen were English (Thurloe, paper iii. 50) : "The 
Irish regiment, said to be there, was the Earl of Bristol's 
regiment, a small and weak one, most of them being Eng- 
lish. I hear not such complaints of them as you set forth." 

Section IV. 


)N accordance with the statement of the often- 
quoted manuscript, " Histoire Veritable des Vau- 
dois," I will now relate the true details of the 
supposed cruel Waldensian massacre of the year 1655, 
described by John Leger (liv. ii. chap, ix.), and shamefull}^ 
misrepresented by him, with indecent engraved figures : the 
very identical engravings and descriptions published more 
than twenty years before in Moiiand's history, which, as we 
have before said, there is every reason to think, is almost 
entirely an inspiration of the same Leger, and may be 
reckoned to be his first edition. 

Leger says, first (l. c), that " the particulars of the 
massacre have been confirmed through the evidence of 
more than 150 persons of ii'reproachable honesty and cre- 
dibility, who made their depositions at the office of two 
notaries, Biauchi and Mondonis." (MS. pp. 182-184.) "We 
may foi'give John Leger for not mentioning the names 
of these 150 respectable persons ; it would have made his 
volume too thick. Nevertheless, we are entitled to know 
that their evidences were given at the office of persons to 
be trusted. Unhapi^ily for Leger, this is not the case. The 


notary Bianchi was his right hand in every bad enterprise, 
and a criminal on account of his misdeeds, and therefore 
condemned to death by public sentence the 23rd May, 1655. 
Mondone was not a notary in the year 1655, when it is sup- 
posed that the depositions were made. Mondone obtained 
the office of notary four years afterwards, in 1659; and, 
besides, in 1663 and 1664, he declared that he had received 
no depositions of the kind. This fact of the two notaries of 
Leger is enough by itself to prove in general that the mas- 
sacres detailed by him are not authentic." {See Art. I. of 
this part.) 

As Leger says that he gave the original of the deposi- 
tions, signed by the notaries Bianchi and Mondone, to 
Samuel Morland, the Commissary of Cromwell in Italy, 
and that he (Leger) published the same depositions, ti'ans- 
lated from an Italian copy kept by himself ; * the intelligent 
reader will understand that the narrative of these facts, 
published by JMorland more than twenty years previously 
to the publication of Leger's, is really the fictitious narra- 
tive of Leger himself ; and that the manuscript of the depo- 
sitions, placed by Sir Samuel Morland in the Cambridge 
Library, is the original manuscript of the fictitious narrative 
given by Leger to Morland. 

We will now examine the particular stories. To avoid 
confusion, the matter will be divided into two columns. 
That at the left of the reader containing the assertions of 
Leger, that at the right giving the true statement of the 
facts which Le^er has distorted. 

* (Histoire, Part n. pp. 116, 117.) " J'en ay remis Voriglnal signe des 
Noiaires Bianclii et Mondonis entre les mains de Monseur Morland, coin- 
missaire extraordinaire du Mori Lord Proteoteur de la Gra/nde Bretagne, 
comme il le confesse am Q^Glia/pitre du second Uvre de son histoire ; me con- 
tentant d'en avoir conserve la fidele eopie. Void done le conteim des sus- 
dits depositions fidelcment traduit de VItali<m." 



John Lager's Assertions and 

Sara Rostagnol is described as 
tormented, having her belly cut 
open, because she refused to invoke 
the Vu-gin Mary ; at last beheaded 
by a soldier. 

r/te true ler/al Statements. 
(MS. p. 1085.) 

Sara Rostagnol was stabbed twice 
and wounded grievously in the head, 
while she was handing weapons to 
the rebels. No other injury. And 
she died afterwards in a place called 
La Maddalena delle Vigne, as is 
deposed by six persons of her own 
religion : — 
David Allieta, David Graimer, 
James Chiarer, Joseph Crespin, 
Daniel Pavarin, James Berger, 
the lUth February, 18th and 19th 
March, 1674, at the office of Bon- 
dino, a notary of known respecta- 
bility, and esteemed also by the 

Martha Costantina, wife of James 
Barrel, had her belly ripped open ; 
her private parts and breasts cut 
out, which the Duke's soldiers 
cooked, made a stew of them, and 
then eat them. 

Martha Costantina, wife of Bar- 
rel, died before the year 1055, as is 
proved at the office of Baudino by 
six of her own religion : 
David Allieta, David Graimer, 
John Rossel, John H. Allier, 

Antony Prasciut, Daniel Massen, 
the 15th February, and 3rd, 6th, 
28th March, 1674. 

James Michelin, of Bobbio, a Gen- 
tleman, stabbed in his feet, hand, 
and ears ; his private parts cut off, 
and a lighted candle put to the 
wound ; the naUs extracted with 
pincers, and his head bound with 
cords so tightly as to force his eyes 
out of their sockets, and his braius 
out of his head : and all these tor- 
ments were inflicted on him in order 
to oblige him to abjure his religion. 

(MS. p. 1080.) 

James Michelin, of Bobbio, aValet, 
not a Gentleman, bom in Frassinier, 
was simply wounded in one of the 
combats of 1655, and then can-ied 
to Dauphiny : he seven years after- 
wards was seen in good health in 
the valley of Lucema, as is con- 
firmed at the office of Baudino, the 
23rd December, 1673, by Jolin 
Michelin, a Vaudois of Bobbio, 
having his dwelling-house at Villar ; 
and also by John Martinet, of Bob- 
bio, a catholic, at the office of Simon- 
detti, a notary, the 10th March the 
same year. 



John Leger's Assertions and 

An old man precipitated from a 
very high rock. 

The true Legal Statements. 

(MS. p. 1086.) 

About the supposed old man so 
precipitated, as Leger tells us that 
he himself is the only witness of 
this incredible fact, there is no need 
of any proof to contradict it. 

Isaias Grand of Angrogna, ninety 
years of age, beheaded, and then 
cut into pieces ; his bowels spread 
on the streets, and his limbs hung 
on trees. 

(MS. p. 1087.) 

No man named Isaias Grand ex- 
isted in Angrogna at that time, or 
long before that time. This is 
proved by the depositions of Jovenal 
Jacoma, of La Torre, of John Ttalliet 
and Antony Presciut, of Angrogna, 
made on the 1st February, and 3rd 
and 6th March, 1674, at the Bau- 
dino's office : and of Michael Gonin, 
of St. Giovanni, made on the 28th 
March, 1674, at the ofiice of Simon- 

The wife of Daniel Armand also 
cruelly tormented. 

The wife of Daniel Armand was 
simply killed through a stab, in a 
place called Cogno, while she was 
handing arms to the rebels fighting 
against the Duke's soldiers. 

Moyses Yiaimor, Antony Simond, 
James Chabriel, and Peter Nicollet, 
of La Torre, confirmed this fact at 
the office of Ban diuo the 1st February 
and the 5th, 6th INIarch ; and the 
same was done by David Dalmezzo, 
of VUlar, at the office of Simondetti, 
the 10th March, 1674. 

(The names of all the witnesses 
are always given in the MS., but 1 
intend to omit them on the follow- 
ing depositions, both for brevity 
and not to weary the reader.) 



Jolm Leger's Assertions and 

Two women, at a place calletl La 
Sarsena had tlieii- bellies ripped 
open, and theii- bowels thrown out, 
by Paul de Penealier, a captain, the 
22nd AprU, 1655. 

The true Legal Statements. 

(MS. p. 1087.) 

There are depositions of five wit- 
nesses, all Vaudois, made at the 
Baudino's office, dated the 9th and 
20th February, and the 5th and 0th 
March, 1G74, stating that no woman 
was killed at that time at the Sar- 
sena ; and that Captain Paul de 
Penealier was not seen ui the men- 
tioned place during the whole of the 
yeai- 1055. 

There is besides one deposition 
at the same office, dated the 0th 
March, 1674, saying that some wo- 
man fell into a precipice near La 
Sarsena, and that she was not in- 
jured by any body. 

Maria Raymond, the widow of 
James Coin, was found in a cave, 
her bones on one side and her flesh 
picked off on the other side. 

(MS. p. 1088.) 

Unhappily for the calumniator, 
Maria Raymond died many years 
before 1055. Witnesses, three 
Waldenses and two Catholics. The 
depositions at the office of Baudino 
are on the 7th of January, and 2nd, 
6th, and 25th March, 1074. 

"This wicked author" (says the author of the MS. l. c.) 
" thus imposes upon the credulity of the Protestant people ; 
and believes that they will be amused with this kind of 
execrable stories. He supposes them to be wild beasts, and 
black souls longing to be nourished with the poison of 

* " C^est ainsi que cet escrivoMt seelerat abuse impudemmant de la credul'de 
des peivples Protestans qu'il crois prendre pilai-sir a ce sort des fables execra- 
bles ; les prenans poii/r hestes et pour das ames nolres qui aimont a se nurrir 
du ve7iin de la medisance." 



John Leger's Assertio7is and 

Magdalen, worn out with age, the 
widow of Peter PUon, of VUlar, was 
found cut into pieces in a cave. 

The true Legal Statements. 
(MS. p. 1088.) 

About this Magdalen, widow of 
Peter PUon, it has been legally 
proved by seven witnesses, all Wal- 
denses, in the presence of two no- 
taries, Simondetti and Baudino, that 
neither such a iviclmv nor such a hus- 
band ivere at any time at Villa/r. 
The depositions bear the dates of 
26th December, 1673, 23rdFebmary, 
and 2nd, 5th, 9th, 10th March, 

Anna, daughter of John Car- 
bonier, was violated, a pike driven 
through her private parts, and then 
impaled, and raised up and carried 
by the soldiers through the principal 
streets as a sort of cross-standard, 
in order to inspire terror into the 

(MS. p. 1089.) 

This daughter of Carbonier, na- 
turally crippled and stupid, was 
simply found dead in a place called 
La Grand Rua, without any wound 
or mark of outrage on her body. 
Thus says the deposition of five 
Waldenses at the office of Baudino, 
the 2nd, 5th, 6th, and 9th of March, 

The author of the manuscript here reproaches John Leger 
for his shameless indecency and scandalous falsehoods. 

John Leger's Assertions and 

Many little children tormented, 
lacerated whilst alive, and precipi- 
tated from the top of the rocks. 

The true Legal Statements. 
(MS. p. 1092.) 

It is proved by five Waldenses 
and by two Catholics, who made their 
depositions the 6th and 9th March, 
1673, and the 7th February, 1674, 
that out of the children of John 
Andrew Michelin, of La Torre, sup- 
posed to be so killed, one died in 
the year 1656, and the other two, a 
male and a female, were stUl alive 
in 1674. The same is confirmed of 
the other chUdi-en. 



John Leger's Assertions and 

James Prin and John Gonnet 
were cruelly tormented in different 
manners, and thus kUlod. 

Tlie true Legal Statement. 

(MS. p. 1092). 

Prin and Gonnet were made pri- 
soners of war, and died natural 
deaths in the prisons of Lucema 
without suffering any torment. The 
evidence at the office of Simondetti 
and Baudino bears the name of three 
Waldenses, the 24th February, the 
10th and IGth March, 1674. The 
same is confirmed by the Marquis 
of Angrogna, who procured for them 
charitable assistance in the prison. 

John Pellanchon tied to the tail 
of a mule, and dragged along, and 
indecently and cruelly tormented. 

(MS. p. 109,3.) 

About John Pellanchon, at the 
office of Simondetti, there are the 
depositions of Prior Vallero and of 
David Dabnazzo, a Waldensis, who 
had been present at the fact, and 
ascertained that it is true that an 
insolent soldier had really tied the 
poor Pellanchon to the tail of a 
mule, intending that he be thus 
drawn to Lucema; but Matolles, 
the Commander of the Duke's sol- 
diers, having caused Pellanchon to 
be immediately untied, punished the 
soldier with imprisonment. 

Magdalene Fontaine, only ten 
years old, killed while the brutal 
soldiers attempted to violate her. 

It has been legally proved by the 
evidence of two Waldenses, the 2nd 
and 16th March, 1674, that Magda- 
lene Fontaine was stiU alive in the 
said year, 1674. 

A mother, flying from the pur- 
suers wth her baby on her head, 
left the baby in the snow. Mercier 
Tolosano saw this. The Duke's sol- 
diers cut the poor baby into four 

Through the deposition of two 
Waldenses, 20th February, 1674, it 
is proved that the soldiers had the 
baby carried to the nearest village, 
and she was fed and taken care of 
for many years, till she died by 
natural illness in the valley of St. 



John Jjeger's Assertions and 

Anotlier girl, also only ten years 
old, was impaled with a pike by the 
soldiers and then roasted and eaten 
by them. 

The true Legal Statements. 

(MS. p. 1094.) 

Three Waldenses of Bobbio ju- 
ridically affirmed, 26th December, 
1673, and 20th February and 10th 
March, 1674, that the said girl, 
being foolish, concealed herself in 
a heap of bushes, to which the sol- 
diers, unaware of it, set fire, and 
thus she was burnt accidentally. 

James Michelin, the father of the 
late Minister of Angrogna, and two 
countrymen shamefully bound in 
their private parts, and thus cruelly 

(MS. p. 1096.) 

James Michelin, the father of the 
late Minister, did not suffer any bad 
treatment. He was made a prisoner 
of war in a combat, and died by 
natural illness in the prison of Tu- 
rin. About the two countrymen, 
there is nobody who saw or heard 
anything of them. These are the 
legal depositions of five Waldenses 
at the two notaries' offices, 30th De- 
cember, 1673, and 6th, 9th, 10th 
March, 1674, besides other five de- 
positions made by Catholics of Bob- 
bio and of La Torre. 

Jane Rostagnol, eighty years old, 
murdered by cutting out her nose, 
ears, and all extremities of her body. 

Jane Rostagnol, who was not as 
old as it is said, simply died by a 
gun-shot during a combat near the 
Alp of Crosenna, as was legally 
stated by fom- Waldenses and by 
two Catholics, the 26th December, 
1673, and the 10th March, 1674. 



Jolm Leger'n Assertions and 
Bepresentat ions. 

Many persons, as Daniel Salvajot, 
Louis Tomo, Bartholomy Durand, 
were dreadfully killed by having 
gunpowder put into their ears and 
mouths, which, on being set fire to, 
blew out their brains through their 
split heads. 

Tho true Legal Statements. 

(MS. p. 109G.) 

All these are forgeries. Daniel 
Salvajot was killed by a gnn-shot 
during the war in a place called La 
Roche de Pacelas. Louis Turno was 
also killed by a gun-shot and a stab 
received in an attack at a place 
called Casas de Roras ; and the 
same was the fate of Bartholomy 
Durand, at Baumes. None died 
having received any of the forged 
injuries. Three Waldenses of Le 
Vigne, near Roras, affii'med this ju- 
ridically, the 2Gth February, and 
the 18th and 19th March, 1674. 

Daniel Revel was barbarously 
murdered as the above-named. 

Daniel Revel was dead long before 
the year 1655. Daniel Paradise and 
James Bergier proved this fact in a 
legal deposition the same year, 1674. 

Paul Reinaud was also killed in 
the same cruel manner. 

Four Waldenses legally proved at 
the offices of the often-mentioned 
notaries, the 6th December, 1673,and 
the 9th and 20th February, 1674, that 
Paul Reinaud was found dead after 
a conflagration, probably suifocated 
by the smoke. His body was found 
without any injury on his ears or 
mouth, and only with his beard and 
shirt a little burnt. 

John Rone, a schoolmaster, had 
his nails pulled out with pincers ; 
hands, feet and ears perforated in 
many parts ; was asked several times 

(MS. p. 1097.) 

All these cruel details of torments 
are forged by Lcger, as is his custom, 
to make the Invocation of Saints and 
the Mass odious to the Protestants, 



John Leger^s Assertions and 

to invoke the Virgin Mary, and to 
go to Mass, and at eaoli of his re- 
fusals, a piece of liis flesh was cut 
off with a knife. 

The true Legal Statements. 

(MS. p. 1097.) 

and to iasert false motives of Reli- 
gion into the invented cruelties. 
The fact is simply this, that Rone 
was made prisoner of war, and 
ordered to be transported to Lu- 
cema. But he resisted the soldiers 
with all his might, and one of them 
shot him dead with a pistol. This 
has been juridically confirmed by 
the Prior, Michael Angel Galliaa, 
and by the Signori Benettiao and 
Vocero, all men of honour, and as 
such respected by the Waldenses of 
Lucema themselves. 

Paul Gramier, of Roras, had his 
eyes forced out of his head, his pri- 
vate parts cut off and put into his 
mouth ; then he was skinned alive, 
and left so to die ; while his skin, 
cut into pieces, was hung at four 
windows of the best houses of Lu- 

There is a juridical statement of 
eight Waldenses, named in the MS. 
bearing the dates of 25th, 26th, 28th 
February, and 6th, 18th, 19th, 28th 
March, 1674, asserting unanimously 
that Paul Garnier was killed by a 
gun-shot whUe he was assaulting 
the town of Lucema with his com- 
panions ; and that, after the brigands 
were driven back, Joseph Baptist 
Bianco, a Catholic, attended to the 
burial of his body. 

Daniel Cardon, of Roccapiatta, 
was beheaded, his brains thrown out 
of the skull and eaten by the soldiei-s, 
and his heart devoured by them. 

(MS. p. 1098.) 

The only truth about Daniel Car- 
don, of Roccapiatta, is that the sol- 
diers of the Duke shot him dead 
whilst he was fighting with rebels 
against them, near the temple of 
Roccapiatta. He had no other injury, 
and was bui-ied by his own people 
after the combat. This is the legal 
deposition made by five of his own 
companions, the 9th and 28th Feb- 
ruary, and 6th, 10th, 28th March, 



Johit Leger's Assertions and 
Represent aiiotis. 
Margaret Revel, called La Car- 
tara was bui-nt by the Duke's soldiers 
at Le Vigne, and so they also served 
Mary Praviglielmo. The wife of 
Mathew Giordano is quoted as the 
eye witness of the fact. 

The widow of John Hugon, in- 
firm and bedridden for three years, 
was carried to La Torre on a cart, 
wounded with the sharp end of hal- 
berds, stoned and drowned in the 
river Angrogna. 

P. Gilles, of La Torre, wounded 
by a gun-shot, had his nose cut off 
and his face scarified, and left thus 
to die. 

Tlie true Lcijal Statements. 
(MS. p. 10[>9.) 

Margaret Revel was bui-ut to 
death, not by the soldiers, but acci- 
dentally ; not at Le Vigne, but at a 
place called Li Ronchi, near the farm 
of Antony Prasciuto, where she had 
concealed herself, without it being 
known by anybody. Mary Pravig- 
lielmo died a natural death in a 
place called Rocca Cordera. The 
wife of Mathew Giordano, quoted 
as an eye witness, was dead and 
buried long before the year 1655. 
Thus it is stated by three Waldense.s 
in their depositions at the two no- 
taries', 30th December, 1673, and 
28th February and 28th March, 

Four Waldenses, the 6th and 10th 
March, 1674, made their legal state- 
ment to this effect : that the widow 
of John Hugon, who was not, in fact, 
infirm, was killed through being 
stabbed twice by the soldiers, while 
she was helping the rebels during 
an attack on a place called " La 
Gran Rua." 

(MS. p. 1100.) 

It is not stated by Leger whether 
this P. Gilles was named Peter or 
Paul. However, the falsehood of 
the assertion is proved by the legal 
evidence of three Waldenses, of La 
Torre, and of others, as it appears 
from the registers of the 9th, 24th, 
and 28th February, and 6tli and 
10th May, 1674. The statements 
say, that no man named Paul Gilles 
was ever kno^vn at La Torre ; and 
that there have been known two 
Gilles named Peter : the one died 
before the year 1655, and the other 
died some vcars after the s.aid date. 


John Leger's Assertions and The true Legal Statements. 

Bepresenfations. (MS. p. 1100). 
At Gracillane, a place at the bot- The whole of the account about 

torn of the valley of Lucerna, a great the furnace of Gracillane, both in its 

many jjoor Waldenses were violently substance and in its circumstances, 

cast into an oven already made hot, is another solemn falsehood of a 

and ready to bake bread. They were man of unblushing effrontery, as is 

all forced into the oven and roasted proved at the office of the two nota- 

alive. Some Catholics were wit- ries, by the deposition of eleven per- 

nesses. sons of the same place. 

"It would be too long and tedious to continue relating 
all the legal evidences registered against the foi'ged ac- 
counts of John Leger. It will be enough to say, that we 
are ready to show them to any person Avho should be doubt- 
ful of their genuineness.* Yet, before concluding this argu- 
ment, we shall touch cursorily some of the other facts 
misrepresented by J. Leger. 

"John Bajrtist Andre died before the year 1655 (Deposi- 
tion, Febr. and March the 7th, 1674), and it is said that he 
was cut in pieces in the said year 1655. 

"(MS. p. 1102.) Michael Bella, said to have had his head 
rooted out from his shoulders in 1655, was still alive in 
1656. (Deposition of five Waldenses, Febr. and March, 

" Daniel Pellene, said to have been ignominiously carried 
to Angrogna by the Catholics ; he was really so carried, not 
by the Catholic soldiers, but by his own Waldenses, in order 
to get his money. (Deposition, Febr. and March, 1674, ten 
witnesses. ) 

" About Michael Perisa, said to have been beheaded at 
Cavour the same year, 1655, it is proved that there Avere 
two men of this name, one died before the said year, the 
other was still alive in 1674. (Depos. 1674.) 

" John Donna, Leger said to have been burnt alive. Seven 

* (MS. p. 1101.) "/e ne laisse pas de consei'ver les pieces originales qui 
justifiant incontestahlevient lafaussete des inassac^-es partiouliers, qu'il decrit 
si au long dans ces rolles. Elles safisferont ceu.v a- qui il prendroit envie de 
s'en eclarcir. 


witnesses stated legally that there wex'e three persons of 
this name. The first, wounded in a combat at San John, 
died of the wound at Angrogna. The second died in 1661, 
after having been stabbed twice in his belly by another 
TValdensis, and the third died in 1663 in the mountain of 

" It is said that the wife of Paul Chevet was beheaded in 
the year 1655, and it is proved that she was dead some years 
previous to that time. (Depos. 1674, four Avitnesses.) 

"Joseph Claret, who while with the brigands trying to 
take Lucerna by assault, died of a gun-shot, without suffer- 
ing any other injury, as is confirmed by eight witnesses ; is 
yet described by Leger as having his belly ripped open, in 
order to take off his fat before his death. 

" Mary Paul also, it is said, was killed the same year, 
1655 ; and Mathew Thurin is described as dreadfully tor- 
mented, and his body given to the dogs ; and yet, by the 
deposition of three witnesses, it is j^roved that both were 
already dead previous to the said year." 

Section V. 


)ET us conclude this second part by simply re- 
marking : — 

1st. That the priiicipal reason for which the 
Waldenses were punished in Piemont was not precisely 
their religious belief, but their having been rebellious 
against the orders of the Sovereign and the laws of the 
country in which they lived : which is proved, not only by 
the many fticts herein recorded, and sometimes admitted 
and confessed by the Waldenses themselves, as we have 
alreadv seen, but also confirmed by the written records of 


several public men of the time. We are now going to 
quote them. Monsieur Servien, the Ambassador of the 
.King of France in Turin writes thus to the Governor and 
Consul of Fragela : " Turin, April 14, 1655. I write to 
you these lines to let you know that his Royal Highness, 
being dissatisfied with some inhabitants of the valley of 
Lucerne, not only for opposing his orders, but also for 
making others directly contrary unto them, by an attempt 
full of insolence, hath resolved to have that obedience that 
is due unto him." (State Papers of John Thurloe, vol. 
in. p. 413. London, 1742.) Let us see also (l. c. p. 578) 
what De Lionne, the French Ambassador at Rome, wrote to 
Bordeaux, the French Ambassador in England. " Rome, 
July 3, 1655 : I hope that the pretence which the Protector 
(Cromwell) takes to defer the signing of your treaty upon 
the business of the valleys of Savoy, will suddenly cease ; 
since Monsieur Servien, Ambassador for the King at Turin, 
hath writ me word, that he hoped to accommodate the same 
in a short time, according to the orders which he had re- 
ceived from the Court : although it is not a War for their Re- 
ligion, but a pure revolt against the Prince." Count Brienne 
besides may be heard in his letter written to Bordeaux, the 
French Ambassador in England (l. c. p. 817): " Soisson, 
July 16, 1655. As for the business of Savoy, . . . you 
may assure the Protector that we have done all what he 
could desire of us. But we can but entreat and not com- 
mand the Prince of Savoy. Certain it is that his subjects 
had very much forgotten their duty." It is then to over- 
throw the historical evidence to say that the Waldenses 
were persecuted for their religious opinions. 

Second, That, speaking in particular of the famous year 
1655, if, on the one hand, we must admit that many Wal- 
denses were killed during the combats at the places which 
were attacked or held by the soldiers of the Sovereign; on 
the other, it is equally certain, in accordance Avith the depo- 
sitions quoted above, that the catalogue of murders, tedious 


for their length, and abominable for their indecent and cruel 
details, is nothing else than a malicious dream of the excited 
imagination of a deceiver. Sir Samuel Morland himself, in 
a letter to Thurloe, the Secretary of Cromwell, has the fol- 
lowing striking expressions on the subject (State Papers, 
vol. III. p. 417) : "Geneve, January 15, 1656." As to the 
History. ... I have not neglected to use my utmost dili- 
gence, since the verie first time you mentioned the same. . . 
The greatest difficulty I meet with is in relation to the 
matter of fact in the beginning of these troubles and during 
the time of warr. For I find, upon diligent search, that 
many papers and bookes which have been put out in print 
on this subject, even by some Ministers of the valleys, are 
lame in many partiailars and in manie thinf/s not conformahle 
to truth." Notable expression not to be forgotten ! 

Third, That in the said year 1655, the number of the 
Waldenses in the valleys of Piemont amounted to about 
16,000, as is also admitted by John Leger, and the killed, 
both by sword and by fire, and also in their flight, did not 
exceed altogether 200 in number, as is stated in the report 
published at that time by the Sardinian Government in 
Italian, French, and Latin ; which was printed also in Mor- 
land's History (p. 398). Too many, if the preciousness of 
human life is considered ; but very few indeed, if compared 
with the ordinary history of unsuccessful revolutions, and 
with the many thousands of human beings sacrificed on like 
occasions, not to speak of other places and times, especially 
here in England and Ireland, in the same unhappy seven- 
teenth century. 

" Ihiive assigned 1656, because tlie year In tlie same State Papern, L. c, it is said 

1655, printed in the St.Tte Papers, L. c is a tliat tliis Morland's letter was possessed by 

mistake. The facts alluded to in this letter Lord Ch. Hardwicke, Hifrh Chancellor of 

happened not in .lanuary, 1655, but in the Great Britain . 
following May. 

Part the Third. 



Sectiox I. 


lEFORE speaking particularly of the religious 
opinions of the Waldenses, it is advisable to 
touch upon some general points of history on 
this subject : — 
That it was a mistake of some writers to accuse 
the old Waldenses of holding errors which they, as a body, 
had in abomination. For instance, that they admitted two 
gods and two principles, the good and the bad, as the 
Manicheans did ; that they denied Baptism and the other 
Sacraments ; that they rejected the Apostles' Creed, and 
permitted promiscuous sexual intercourse, &c. These and 
many other tenets, sometimes attributed to the old Wal- 
denses, cannot be said with truth to have been their errors, 
as there is no trace of them in any of the AValdensian manu- 
scripts. I am of opinion that this mistake was caused, either 
by this, that some of the followers of Peter of Yaudia had 
belonged at first to other sects of the time, and previously 
held errors like those, or, that it was the effect of confound- 
ing the Waldensian sect with that of the Catharites, or of 


the Apostolicals, or of the Albigenses. At any rate, we 
must repeat that the Waldenses, as a particular body of 
sectarians, were quite free from those abominable and 
destructive errors. 

Second. That they in their outset held nothing at variance 
Avith the common doctrines of the Catholic Church, within 
which they were at first educated, except their preaching 
and expounding publicly the Holy Scriptures, in spite of 
the prohibition of the Bishops of the same Church. " The 
Waldenses " (I quote the words of Neander, in his " History 
of the Christian Religion and Church," vol.viii.) "laboured 
with great zeal, and certainly Avithout any thought at first 
of separating themselves from the Church ; but simply aim 
ing at a spiritual society like many others in the service 
the Church." And this is pretty clear to every one who 
considers the fact that an embassy of their body went to 
Rome in the year 1179, at the time of the Third Council of 
Lateran, in order that Pope Alexander the Third would 
sanction their society, and approve of their book. This 
point of history is confirmed by the English Franciscan, 
Walter Mapes, who in that very year was in Rome, and had 
a conversation witli two of the Waldensian embassy, as he 
relates in his Avork " De Nugis Curialium," existing among 
the manuscripts of the Bodleian Library (851) at Oxford. 
I will quote a few words only of this contemporary : * " We 
saw Waldensian men in the Roman Council held by Pope 
Alexander the Thii'd. They were simple and unlearned, 
and were thus called from the name of their founder, Valdo, 
who was a citizen of Lyons on the Rhone. They presented 
to the Pope a book written in the old Provencal language, 
in Avhich there were texts and comments of the Psalms, and 

* Vidimus in Concilio Romano sitb Alexandro Papa III. celehrato Valdesios 
homines ydiotas ilUteratos, a piimate ipsorum Valdo dictos, qui fuerat cicis Lug- 
dunis super Rodanum ; qui librum domino Papa proesentarerunt lingua co7iscripfum 
Gallica, in quo text us et glosa Psalterii, plurimorumque Legis Utriusque libronim 
cvntenehantur. (See note 2.5). 


of many books of the Old and New Testament," &c. It is 
true that they were sent Ijack witliout olitaining what they 
asked, and were forbidden to explain the Scriptures, and to 
preach publicly in their own way; yet they were not con- 
demned at that time as guilty of any error in doctrine. 
Besides, when John a Bellismanibus, Archbishop of Lyons, 
about the year 1182 or 1183, also forbade them both to 
preach and expound the Scriptures, and finding them dis- 
obedient, expelled them from his diocese ; no mention was 
made of their holding anj- doctrine at variance with the 
teaching of the Church : they Avere simply exj^elled because, 
being laymen and illiterate, and, of course, frequently using 
erroneous expressions, presumed, against the prohibition of 
their superiors, to preach, and exercise an office which was 
confided to the Apostles and to their successors only. And, 
in fact, two of the original folloAvers of the Waldensian sect, 
the one named Durandus of Huesca, who had also been a 
master of Waldism in a school at Milan ; and the other, Ber- 
nard Primo, and a great number of their Waldensian com- 
panions, having shown their desire to be reunited with 
the Church, their petition was readily granted by Pope 
Innocent the Third; and they besides received from him 
letters and diplomas aiithorizing them to establish religious 
orders. The letters to Durandus are of the 18th December, 
1208, those to Bernard are dated 14th June, 1210. The 
two societies, in the year 1256, were united to, and em- 
bodied with, the Hermits of St. Augustin (Helyot, " His- 
toii'e des Ordres Monastiques." Guingamp, 1839, vol. ii. 
p. 283 et seq.). 

Third. Notwithstanding what we have said, it cannot l)c 
denied that the Waldcnses in after times admitted and pro- 
fessed many articles of doctrine, against the teaching and 
practices of the Roman Church, as we shall see in separate 
articles. Yet a very broad distinction is to be drawn be- 
tween many articles of their religious doctrine in the old 
time, and those adopted by the new Waldenses after tlie 


appearance of the reformers Luther and Calvin. The latter 
are very different from the former in many substantial 
points ; so that, if the Waldenses who existed in the 
thirteenth and fourteenth century, had risen from their 
gTaves and mingled with those of the seventeenth and 
eighteenth, they would have jvidged the latter very un- 
faithful to their old religion. Let us read the often quoted 
MS. (" Veritable Histoire," p. 2) : " The Waldenses became 
Lutheran on the appearance of Luther, and a little after- 
wai'ds from being Lutheran they became Calvinlst. John 
Leger, who took upon himself the task of being the histo- 
rian of the valleys of Piemont, presumed to revive in our 
days the name of Waldenses, whose heresy died away about 
two centuries ago." {Idem, MS. p. 294) : "The first public 
Waldensian assembly, called together in the valleys, was 
held at Angrogna the 12th September, 1532; at which 
there was proposed some kind of religious union between 
the Waldenses and the Lutherans. The two barbas, George 
Morel and Peter Masson, objected strongly to this proposal, 
on the ground principally that the Lutheran articles were 
more in number than the Waldensian. New letters, how- 
ever, having been received from Germany, some kind of 
union between the two sects was made, in spite of the two 
barbas : and this was done at another assembly held in the 
valley of San Martin, the 15th August, 1533. Neverthe- 
less, through the cunning of Calvin, who, both personally and 
by means of his partizans — principally William Farel — re- 
peatedly addressed the Waldenses, they a few years after- 
wards gave way, and, in 1536, became Calvinists. Not 
totally so, however, at first ; because, being obliged by the 
Senate of Turin to declare their religious belief, they made 
a confession of faith neither in accordance with Luther, 
whom they had already abandoned, nor in accordance with 
Calvm, whom they did not yet profess to follow entirely. 
The profession of their faith presented to the Senate was a 
mixture of the two sects. They declared, 1st. That the religion 


of their ancestqrs and their own was that which God has 
revealed in the Old and New Testament ; 2nd. That it was 
summarily contained in the twelve articles of the Creed; 
3rd. That they held the Sacraments, not, hoAvever, to the 
number of seven ; 4th. That they received the Four First 
General Councils of Nice, Ephesus, Constantinople and 
Calcedon, the Athanasian Creed and the Commandments of 
Our Lord, as they are Avritten in the books of Exodus and 
Deuteronomy ; 5th. That they acknowledged the Princes 
of the earth ; 6th. That after all, they did not consider 
themselves under any obligation to obey the Roman Church, 
nor of observing her decrees." 

M. A. Rorengo ("Esame intorno alia nuova Confessione 
di Fede, ecc. Torino, 1658," p. 33) confirms the same Walden- 
sian changes by addressing them thus : " You allow your 
confession of faith to run like the fashion of our clothes, 
now long, now large, now narrow. Up to the present time 
you hold the rule of the First Councils and of the First 
Doctors of the Church. Now you cast them aside, and then 
place instead the confession of Flanders, Holland, &c. so 
that under such rules we are unable to dispute and to dis- 
cover what your faith is. Observe (l. c. p. 45) that 
St. Augustin acknowledges for a true Church that which 
has the succession of Pontiffs and Priests. And you pre- 
tend that the new confession lasted from the Apostles, fi-om 
St. Peter to Oarba Martini. How can you exhibit suc- 
cessors both in the hierarchical chair, and in the doctrine ?"* 

What has been noted here will show generally that the 
Waldenses have undergone some great changes in relation 

* Vol fate coiTere la vostra confessione di fede con la moda dei vestiti or lunghi 
or laryhi ora stretti. Prendeste finora la regola dei primi Concilii e Dottori delta 
Chiesa. Oz-a gli levate surroyando la confessione di Fiundra, Olanda ecc. ; affinchi 
con tali regole non si conosca e possa disputare qual sia la vostra fede. Osservate 
che Sant' Agostino truova per vera marca della Chiesa la sticcessione dei Pontefici e 
Sacerdoti. E voi volete che la confessione nuova abbia durato dagli Aposloli, da 
San Pietro a barba Martini. Come produrrete snccessori nella cattedra e nella 
dottrina ? 


to their religious opinions at different epochs, principally 
after Luther and Calvin. Let us now descend to the par- 

Section IL 

the religious doctrines of the old waldenses which 
agreed with those of the catholic church and 
differed from the tenets of the new reformers. 

.OHN LEGER has printed several confessions of 
the Waldensian faith, and assigns the first to the 
year 1120, about sixty or eighty years (he 
wrongly says) before Valdo of Lyons (1st Part, -p. 92 and 
following). This confession contains fourteen articles. In 
the third a distinction is made between the Canonical and 
the Apocryphal books, and the Waldenses are made to say 
that they read the Apocr^'phal for the instruction of the 
people, not. however, for proving by them Ecclesiastical Doc- 
trines; and in the thirteenth article it is stated plainly, that 
they have not known of any other Sacrament, except Baptism 
and the Eucharist: "jl5o0 iion atieii conep autre sfacratiieitt 
qu£ lo bapn'sjma t la eucljan^tia." 

Not to say anything now about the other four confessions 
given by this writer, I call the reader's attention to the two 
recited articles of the first, and remai-k — First. That no 
Waldensian confession of faith can be older than the Wal- 
denses themselves. Now there is no doubt that this sect 
did not arise before the second half of the twelfth century, 
as has been fully proved in our first part. Second. That, 
in accordance with Professor James Henthorn Todd (The 
book of the Vaudois, p. 8 and following), this confession, 
printed by Leger with the false date of 1120, is in substance 
and in many parts verbally the same as that which Morel 
and Masson showed to Oecolampadius and to Bucer in 1530, 
when the tAvo harhns went to considt them on the particulars 


ot their religion, iu order to come to some agreement be- 
tween themselves. Third. That the division of the books 
of the Scriptures into Canonical and Apocryphal, there 
stated to have been made by the old Waldenses, and the 
admission of two Sacraments only, are points contradicted 
by the same old Waldenses in their manuscripts. We have 
only to open them and read some passages. 

In relation to the different books of the Bible, there is 
not to be found in any of the old Waldensian texts either 
the word or the signification of the Avord Apocryphal. They 
admitted the whole of the Bible as it was admitted by the 
Catholics, without excluding from the number of its books 
those which by the new reformers are excluded as not 
Canonical. In volume C of the Waldensian manuscripts, 
in the Cambridge Library, there is a translation of -pavt of 
the second of the Maccabees, chapter vii. from the Vulgate, 
and a translation of some chapters of Job, and the whole 
book of Tobit also from the Vulgate, comprising that 
famous passage of the Angel : " Prayer is good with fasting 
and alms, more than to lay up treasures of gold ; for alms 
delivereth from death, and the same is that which purged 
away sins, and maketh to find mercy and life everlasting " * 
(Tob. chap. xii. 8 and 9). In volume E there are extracts 
from Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Ecclesiasticus. In volume 
F, amongst translations of parts of the New Testament, 
there are two chapters of the Book of Wisdom ; and in 
volume B there is a treatise on the Commandments. 
They are not divided in accordance with the new reformers, 
but in accordance with the Catholic Catechism : namely, 
the first and second commandment, according to the division 
adopted by the reformers, are united and called the first 
coinmambnent, as the Catholics do. And the commandment 
called the tenth by the same reformers, is divided into two, 
also in accordance with the division adopted by the Catholic 

• 33ona cat lautation e lo Beiun c lalmoaina maiot bt q tracontitf ttaBot Hot, cat 
lalmoflina Bellctita Be mott car all mcflma putoa li pccca t fap a trobar bita ctctna. 


Church. Therefore the Waldenses, m their manuscript, 
put as the second commandment : Not to take the name of 
your Lord God in vain — lie 0eg:ont comani3ameiu uon pcen= 
Dccasf lo nome tiel lo ^egnoc 2Dio eiitanj and put as the ninth, 
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife; and as the 
tenth, Not to covet thy neighbour's goods — %t noten. no 
ciibitare la niolt)cu liel too ppnic— He Deceit egf no cubi'tac la? 
C0!3ai3 Del too ppme. What I have stated concerning the Cam- 
bridge manuscripts as to the distinction of the Apocryphal 
books not being found there, but, on the contrary, every- 
thing in accordance with the Catholic Bible, is also to be 
observed of the Waldensian manuscripts in Trinity College, 
Dublin, of a more recent date ; yet previous to the new 
reformers, in which, according to the positive assei'tion of 
Dr. Todd (l. c. p. 4), no distinction is to be found between 
the Canonical books of the Bible and those called Apocry- 
phal by the reformers : and every Scriptural book or pas- 
sage is always quoted there in accordance with the Catholic 
Bible, comprising the controverted passage of St. John 
(1 Ep. v. 7), which is also written there : " There are three 
that give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and 
the Holy Ghost ; and these three are One — 'Erci 0011 U qual 
Donaa tegtimoni al eel lo i&aire e lo jfillj e lo feanct ^pcn't, e a 
quiSSn tUCi 0On llll." This will be enough to show that the 
Waldenses, before Luther and Calvin, had their Bible as the 
Catholics have it now ; without excluding the books or the 
passages excluded by the same Waldenses, after having be- 
come Calvinists. It will also demonstrate the falsehood of 
the date of 1120 given by Leger as that of the first con- 
fession of the Waldensian faith. 

In relation now to the Sacraments, of which, in that con- 
fession of faith attributed by Leger to the begmning of the 
twelfth century, it is said that the old Waldenses admitted 
two only. Baptism and the Eucharist ; it will be enough to 
read a few lines of the Cambridge Waldensian MS. In 
volume D, under the title, " Exposition of Christian Doc- 


trine," at chaiDter ii. there are the following words : " Seven 
are the Sacraments of the Holy Church. The first is 
Baptism given to us in remission of sins. The second is 
Penance. The third is the Communion of the Body and 
the Blood of Christ. The fourth is Matrimony ordered by 
God. The fifth is Holy Oil (Extreme Unction). The sixth 
is the Imposition of Hands (Confirmation). The seventh is 
the Ordination of Priests and Deacons."* 

In the " Rerum Bohemicarum Antiqui Scriptores ex 
Bibliotheca Freheri," &c. (Hanoviie, 1602), at p. 238, et seq. 
there is printed that Waldensian Confession of Faith Avhich 
was sent to Uladislaus, king of Hungary, in the year 1508. 
We find there the following words : " We equally admit 
that the Sacraments, which are seven in number, are useful 
to the Church of Christ : Similiter, Sacramenta, Septenario 
nuniero indusa., Ecclesice Cliristi iitilia esse pandimus." And 
in the next pages, namely, from 241 to 252 (which are evi- 
dently cut out in the copy existing in the library of the 
British Museum, but are to be seen in the copy of the 
Cambridge library), there is an enumeration and explana- 
tion of each sacrament. About Baptism, after sa3dng, 
that " All grown persons are obliged to be baptized in the 
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy 
Ghost," they profess besides, that also infants must be bap- 
tized, according to a decree of the Apostles, as Dionysius 
writes : ^^Professio nostra etiam in pueros extenditiu\ quidecreto 
Apostolorum, lit Dionysius scribit, baptizari debentr About 
the Sacrament of Orders they mention the Major and the 
Minor Orders : " De Sacerdotali Ordine . . . Majores et 
Minores Ordines." Express mention is made besides of 
Extreme Unction of the Sick — " Unctio Extrema Infir- 
morinn" and of the other Sacraments of " Confirmation, of 

* «>cpt eon Ii sacrament De la Bancta cleE«ia< Co pruintet ea In batieme, lo 
qual ca Dona a noa en rcmccion Dc pccca. to 2 re la penitcncia. Co 3 ca la 
comiinion Del cora e Del oanc De Xt. to 4 ea lo mattimoni orDcna De iTio. ILo 5 
ea loll cant. ILo ij ca lempuaainent Dr laa mane. Co 7 ea otDenament De pregrea 
f De Diaquea. 


Matrimony, of Penance in the Remission of Sins, and of The 
Eucharist :• — De Confirmatmie, De Mainmo7iio, De Pcenitentia 
lapsorum in Remissionem Peccatoriwi, De Eucharistia.'" In 
explaining the last mentioned Sacrament there are the fol- 
lowing striking expressions : " Wheresoever a worthy Priest, 
with faithful people, according to his intention and that of 
Christ, and according to the ordination of the Church, will 
in his prayers testify with such words, namely : ' This is my 
body, This is my blood,'' immediately then the present bread 
is the body of Christ, which was offered to death for us ; and 
in like manner the present wine is His blood, shed for the 
remission of sins. This profession of our faith is founded 
on the words of Christ, related by the Evangelists and by 
Saint Paul. . . . This body and blood of Christ, under the 
species of bread and wine, ought to be received." * 

It will not be altogether out of place to note here with 
Dr. Todd (l. c. p. 216), that in the Dublin Waldensian 
manuscripts there is an instruction to the clergy, headed 
thus: '■'■ Sequitui- De Dnposicione Pa;?iitentice ; " which imposi- 
tion of Penance, according to the Catholic doctrine, is an 
integral part of the Sacrament of like name ; and that some 
of the passages published by Perrin, Morland, and Leger 
from the Waldensian manuscripts, are not translated faith- 
fully by them. To say nothing about Leger, Perrin, in his 
book of the Vaudois, has published the Commandments not 
in accordance with the manuscripts from which he states he 
copied them ; and has divided into two the first, and out of 
the two last Commandments has made one. And, as Dr. Todd 
says (l. c. p. 116), we are not to consider Perrin's history 
of the Vaudois the offspring of a single and solitary pasteur 

* Ulncumque digmis Sacerdos cumfido populo, juxta suam et Christi intentionem 

Ecdesiaque ordinat'toiiem, onitionem fackns, hiijvsmodi verbis, videlicet : Hoc est 
corpus meum, Hie est sanguis meus, testificatus fiierit ; confestim prcesens 
])anis est coijius Christi in mortem pro nobis oblatiim : vinum similiter prasens est 
sanguis ejus effiisus in peccatorum remissionein. Hwc Jidei nostrce professio verbis 
Christi firmatvr ab Evnngelistis et a Sancto Pavlo consmptis. . . . Hoc corpus 
Christi el sanijvis . . ■ suh paiiis viniijiir sjtecicbns . . . »iimi debet. 


of Dauphiuy, but as the work of the French Protestant 
Church ; and a very curious work too : as it was examined a 
great many times in many protestant jirovinces and in Ge- 
neve, during the space of more than ten years before it wa? 
published in 1619. About Morland we may say .that he, 
besides publishing his histor}-, in accordance with the false 
views and suggestions of Leger, against his own first con- 
viction (.s'ce his letter in our Part ii. Sect, v.), and besides 
omitting the publication of passages contained in the manu- 
scripts ; which would have been more than sufficient to cast 
light on the true epoch of the Waldensian sect and doc- 
tx-ines ; has taken the liberty of altering a passage, in which 
the manuscript, commenting upon a text of St. Augustin, 
says : " Vain fear is it to fear losing the company of father 
and mother, and not to fear the loss of the company of God 
and of the Virgin Mary — Ea tompafftu'a dc SDi'o e Jje la 211er- 
ffena Sl^an'a." Now Morland (p. 129) translated it thus: 
" And not to fear losing the blessed jjresence of God the 
Father, and of Jesus Christ." (Todd, l. c. p. 99.) 

I may be allowed to observe here that the old Waldenses, 
though they denied the intercession of Saints and of the 
Virgin Mary (as we shall see afterwards), yet they admitted 
that honour and praise is due to them. Hear them in the 
above quoted confession of faith (" Rerum Bohemicar. Fi'c- 
heri," p. 254, 255) :* " God is to be praised in his Saints, as 
David said, ' Praise the Lord in his Saints;' and we are 
doing so, and praise God in this Virgin, and in the other 
Saints. Because God in his goodness gave to them like 
grace and like benefits, and through them to us. And not 
only we praise God in this Blessed Virgin, but besides we 
confess her blessed and holy ; and we love and imitate her 

* In Sanctis Deus laudari debet, siciit dixit David — Laudate Dominum in 
Sanctis ejus — Et nos hoc ajimus quod in hac Vinjine et aliis Sanctis Deuin 
laudwnus, qui talent gratiam et talia beneficin ex sua bonitate eis dedit et nobis per 
ipsos. Et necdum in hac benedicta Virffine Deum laudamtis, sed et earn confilemur 
benedlclam et bentam, ei dili</imus et seqnimiir jyro jwsse nnstro . . . Nulla ex 



as we can. . . . No woman is as holy as this Virgin is. 
None indeed is full of grace, except her; none should be 
called blessed amongst all generations, except her alone. 
Nor is it true that we despise as profane the holy days of the 
commemoration of the glorious Virgin Mary; on the con- 
trary we respect them, and sing many canticles concerning 
her to the honour of God." 

It is therefore beyond doubt that, before the time of 
Luther and Calvin, the Waldenses admitted all the books of 
the Bible and all the Seven Sacraments as the Catholic 
Church did and does now, and that they did not deny the 
Real Presence of our Lord after the consecration of the 
bread and wine, and paid honour to the Virgin and to the 
Saints: and besides {see Dr. Todd, L. c. p. 19), from the 
doubts proposed in Germany by Morel and Masson, it seems 
clear that they approved of Religious Celibacy, Auricular 
Confession, Vows of Poverty, &c. 

I conclude this article, relating the doctrines of the old 
Waldism as distinguished from Calvinism, by quoting three 
passages of " La Nobla Ley§on," bearing oil the subject. 

Li the first passage, the Waldensian writer praises the 
sincere Confession of sins, and the works of Penance, fast- 
ing, alms-giving, fervent praying, as means to obtain salva- 
tion : 

" To make our Confession sincerely without any defect : 
And to do penance during the present life ; 
To fast, to give alms, and to pray with fervent heart ; 
Indeed, through these things the soul finds salvation."* 

In the second, he commends the Evangelical Counsel to 

mulieribus est bcnedicta stent hcec Virgo, nulla qiddem alia est gratia plena, 
excepta hac, nulla dicitur benedicta inter omnes generationes, excepta hac sola . . . 
Neque hoc verum est quod sanctos dies cominemoraiionis gloriosm Virginis Marice 
sicut profanos contemnimus, sed colimus ut decet. Multas cantiones de ea in laudem 
Dei canimus. 

* IJSutamcnt se confcsaar ficnja alcun mancament, 
<S qu' il fac5an ptnitcncia en la toita prcecnt, 
Dcjunar, faa almonas ft aurar au cor bulbcnt, 
Cat pet a quMtaa coea/3 tioba I'anma flaioamciit. 



keep A^irgiiiity ; and Mary and Joseph are quoted as an ex- 
ample of this : 

" The Old Law cursed the womb which remained barren, 
But the New Law connselleth to keep Vii-ginity. 
Our Ladj was pure and Joseph also." * *^ 

In the third jmssage is boklly prochiinied that a lawfully 
contracted marriage is indissoluble under the Gospel. 

" The Old Law gave power to dissolve ilarriage, 

And the bill of repudiation was then to be given : 

But the New Law says : Do not marrj one that is put away ; 

And what God hath joined together, let no man put asunder."t 

* Ha Up bellia mauBi If tifnttt qui fiuc non a porta, 
i*a la nobrlla toflcllia catcat bcrecncta. 
IPuta era nostra Bona e Jloarpl; attcsi. 

t Ha Ice antcnia Bi partir lo mattimoni : 
<£E carta De rcfu ac Bcoucsan Donar : 
iJfla la nobella tsi non pcnse la lapoa : 
(S ncaQucn non ocpatta co que Dio |)a atosta. 

" The Waldenscs held also here the old 
Catholic doctrine, not only about the vir- 
ginity of Jfary, but also about the chastity 
of St. Joseph. The opinion of the Helvi- 
dians, who professed that Mary, after Jesus 
Christ, had other sons by St. Joseph, was 
condemned amongst other old heresies. (See 
St. .'Vug de Ila-resib. cap. 81 ; see also 
Jerome contra Helvidium.) But, as in the 
Gospels are mentioned the brothers of Jesus 
Christ called sons of Mary ; many old writers 
were misled into erroneou.sly asserting^ that 
the so-called brothers of our Lord, if not 
children of the Virgin Mary, at were 
children of Joseph, born to him previously 
by another wife. I have said erroneousbj, 
because, besides the known custom of the 
Jews, often mentioned in the Bible, to call 
their cousins or other near relations by the 
name of brethren ; that assertion is evidently 
shown to be false by reading the different 
Evangelists. Read, Krst. St. Matthew (c. xiv. 
T. 55) ; " Is not this the carpenter's son? Is 
not his mother called Mary, and his brethren 
James and Joseph, and Simon and Jude?" 
Rea<l now Matthew (c. xxvii. v. 56) : " Was 
Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of 
James and Joseph." And see Mark (c. xv. 
V. 40) : " Amonijst whom was Mary Magda- 

lene and Mary the ntoihtr of James the less 
and of Joseph." Let us turn now to St. 
John (c. xix. V. 25): "Now there stootl by 
the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mo- 
ther's sister Mary the wife of Clenphas, 
and Mary Magdalene." Now, if the ditfer- 
ent p.assage3 are considered together, it will 
appear by the best evidence that Mary, sis- 
ter of the Mother of Jesus, u-ife of Cleophas, 
is the mother of James (the less) and of 
Joseph, who, ivilh Simon and Jude, are 
called brethren of our Lord; but, being the 
sons of the sister of his mother and of Cle- 
ophas (not of St. Joseph), they were not his 
brethren in (iiet ; they were bis cousins only. 
In support of the present point I will .ndd 
the authority of .St. Jerome (Comm. in c. xii. 
St. Matthew): " .\s is contained" (he ."ays) 
"in the book which we have written against 
Ilelvidius, we understand that the expression, 
brethren of our Lord, means not the sons of 
Joseph, but the cousins of our Saviour, sons 
of Mary, aunt of our Lord, who is styled the 
motherof James and Joseph and Jude." Nos, 
sicut in libra, quern contra Helvidium scrip- 
simus, continetur, fratres Domini, non filios 
Joseph sed consobrinos Salvatoris, Mai-iie 
liberos intelligimus materterce Domini; qua 
esse dicitur mater Jaccbi et Joseph et Judie. 


Section III. 


jO one Avill, I think, expect that I should treat 
here of those religious opinions of the Waldenses 
which they adojjted after they became Calvinists. 
It would take me out of my subject, and oblige me to enter 
into too wide a field. Nevertheless, in fulfilment of the 
task I have undertaken, it is requisite that I should speak 
here of those tenets which the Waldenses held as a par- 
ticular body of sectarians, before they united and made a 
common profession with the new reformers. It will appear 
from the following particulars, that the new reformers had 
a good reason to regard the old Waldenses as their ancestors, 
because nearly all the points, in which the Waldenses during 
three centuries disagreed from the Roman Church, were 
likewise assumed and kept by the new reformers, although 
with a good many additions of their own. 

To proceed on safe ground in this rather perplexing in- 
vestigation, I will take for my guide the Waldensian 
Cianuscripts, and those old authors who wrote on this 
subject, from the end of the twelfth to the beginning of 
the sixteenth century, that is to say, from the first spread- 
ing of the Waldensian sect to nearly the time in which they 
united with Calvin. These authors, in order of time, are 
Bernard, Abbot of Chaude Fontaine, the Venerable F. 
Moneta, Reinerius Sacco, Peter PilichdorflF, Eneas Sylvius, 
afterwards Pius II., Seyssell, Archbishop of Turin, and 
Rerum Bohemicarum Scriptores. In the first part of this 
book they have been quoted, with the dates and places in 
which they were published, or where those in MS. are pre- 
served. Thus, without any interruption, I shall be able 


to I'ecapitulate here the princijjal Waldensian tenets as they 
are expressed by the Waldenses themselves, or by the above- 
named authors; and I will subjoin immediately in a few- 
words, the Catholic doctrine on the same point, in order to 
show that the Waldensian tenets are contrary to the Catholic 
doctrine, as well as consonant to that of the new reformers. 

§ 1. 

Waldensian Tenet. 

The Church of God has failed. 

" The Waldenses say that the Church of God failed at the 
time of Pope Silvester, and that it was restored in their 
time, and that the first restorer was Waldesius." (Moneta, 
lib. v. ch. iii.)* 

" You quote the words of our Lord (Matth. xx. 16), 
' Many are called but few are chosen,' where you say that 
the many called express the Catholics, and the few chosen 
express your associates." (Pilichdorft', chap. xiv.)f 

X " That part of the Church, which remained faithful " (at 
the time of Constantine), "persevered for a long time in the 
received truth. Thus little by little, the holiness of the 
Church failed .... And thus we believe, that from the time 
at which the Church was founded, to the end of the world, 

* Isti harretici dicunt Ecclesiam Dei tempore Beati SilveKtri defecisse : in tem- 
poribus aiitem istis 7-estitutam earn asseriint per ipsos, quorum 2'rimus fuit Val- 
desius. (Moneta.) 

J, Sed objicis verbum Domini (Matth. .\.x. IG) : Multi sunt vocati, pauci 
vero elccti ; nbi per vocnios et multos iiitelU</M Catliolicos, et per paucos electos in- 
tdlhjis coinp/ices iuo.'^. (Piliehdorft'. ) 

I iBaa la part pctmaaa pcrmao pet moti tfmp m aqiiela bftita la cal ill; abia 
tcccupu. dtnafci la canctita Br la o'ccoa manque poc a poc. . . , IS cnapfli crcflcn 
que licl temp Hi cal la oleraa fo foncn cntto a la fin Bet ocele, la olepoa Be Dio non 


she shall not so fail that some holy man be not left on earth, 
or in some country of the earth. . . . ( ) beloved, consider 
that the Moon, though nearly losing her fulness, yet she 
always is substantially the same Moon. And if she is ob- 
scured through some darkness, and does not appear to the 
eyes of men, yet she continues to be the Moon in her sub- 
stance, as we believe; otherwise God every month should 
create a Moon. And the Moon often is a figure of the 
Church." (The Waldensian MSS. of Cambridge, vol. A, fol. 
237, 239, 240.) 

Catholic Doctrine on this Point. 

The Church of the New Testament cannot fail, 
either by disappearing, or by remaining concealed 
with a few^ followers, or by teaching errors against 
the revealed doctrine in relation to faith and mo- 

Dcfalljitc enapei Bel tot que la non gia totabia altun Be li sant ocn Ia0 tettas o e 
alcunas rrcions Be ta tetta. ... 2D Watisstntc, consiBcra tat la lima ja «ia to quilt) 
sta juata bfnit amen Be la 00a plancta, mas empetco tftatjia ce luna. (!£ cilh ce 
BcuKia pet alcunae tencbias e non apctepsa a li olh Be li omr, impetco ill; ec totabia 
luna en la 00a eubstancia, rn apmas noa ctcsBcn ; Bautta manieta iDio fatia luna 
pet cljaacun mea. . , . <!E la luna a fi'cuta cebcnBietanient la Glcpaa. {^Vnhltnsian 

" The Catholics support tills doctrine by bell sball not prevail against it;" and His 

that saying in Luke (ch. i. v. 32, 33) ; " The saying to the Apostles {ib. xxviii. 20) : " I 

Lord God shall give to him (to our Re- am with you always, even to the end of the 

deemer) the throne of David his father, and world ;" and the authority of St. Paul 

he sball reign in the house of Jacob forever; (1 Timothy iii. 15): "Tlie House of God, 

and of his kingdom there shall be no end." the pillar and ground of truth ;" the 

And by that revelation made to Daniel Catholics, on the strength of these and 

(ch. ii. v. 44) : " The God of beaven shall other authorities, conclude that the Church 

set up a kingdom that shall never be de- of God on earth cannot fail either by disap- 

stroycd .... aiul itself shall stand forever." pearing and remaining concealed with a few 

Besides, by quoting the words of our Saviour followers, or by teaching errors against faith 

to Peter (Mattb. xvi. 18) : " Upon this rock or morals. 
I will build my Church, and the gates of 


§ 2. 

Waldensian Tenet. 

No other prayer is to be said except the 
Lord's Prayer, &c. 

" The Waldenses say, that uo other prayer is to be said 
except the ' Our Father,' and that all other prayers, which 
are said or read in the Mass, are not of Divine institution, but 
of inen, the words of Consecration and the ' Our Father ' 
alone excepted." ( PilichdorfF, ch. xxix.)* 

Catholic Doctrine. 

If the Waldenses mean to say that we are not 
allowed to utter any other prayer in supplicating 
God, except the identical prayer of the " Our Fa- 
ther" and the words of the Consecration at the 
Mass, they are mistaken.^' 

* Dicunt Valdcnses nihil aliiid orandum esse qtiam Pater Noster ; et quod 
omnia alia quce dicuntur et leyuntur in Missa non sint Institvtionis Divina sed 
humance, solis verbis Consecrationis et Pater Noster excepiis. (Pilichdorff). 

^^ The Catliolics admit that the worda to lis from the very time of the Apo3tlea, or 

of Consecration and the Lord's Prayer are their first Discijiles: as is the case witli the 

undoubtedly of Divine institution, yet they throe famous Liturgies called of St. Peter 

maintain that thence it does not follow that or Miss.i Romana, of St. Mark or Alexan- 

all other prayers are of no use ; and say that drina, and of St. James the cousin of our 

there are many other prayers besides to be Lord, called of Jerusalem: which last Liturgy 

very much respected and used, principally is quoted (Catoch. 6 Mystagogy) by St. Cyril 

those contained in the Liturgies and Rituals of Jerusalem, who flourished the year 350. 
of the Church, part of which are transnilltod 


§ 3. 

Waluensian Tenet. 

The Holy Scriptures alone are sufficient to 
guide men to Salvation. 

" We shall first briefly say that the Law of the true God is 
by itself sufficient for the salvation of all the human generation, 
and it is a Law of perfect liberty, which it is not right to add 
any thing to, or to take away any thmg from, and that there 
is not any kind of good which is not sufficiently comjirised 
in the same His Law." (Waldensian MSS. Cambridge, vol. d. 
Prol. of Chr. Doctr.)* 

The Waldenses despise all those approved practices of the 
Church, which they do not see Avritten in the Gospel. Omnes 
co)isuetudi7ies Ecdesice approbatas, quas in Evangelio non legiint, 
contemniint. (Reinerius Sacco).*" 

* Conca priimicrcmcnt nos tiircn breomtnt coma ta Joj tcl berar 2Dio t 
bcrap Ijomc Jl) ,ti pet ai sola ta sufiticnt a fa salu lie tota la Bcncration ijiimana, 
c cs plus trco c pliia comuna c ptiis Icoirva a complir, c cs Ice Be petfccta Hbctta, a 
la qual non bcsoona aioencv ni mctmat alcuna cosa, t non te alcima cosa Be ben ta 
qual non eta euficicntmcnt encluca tn aquelia mfBe^ma soa leg. {Waldensian 

" The Waldenses, as well as the old Maxi- tlie commandment of God for the sake of 
niin and the Pelagians, grounded this tenet your traditions;" and (C'oloss. ii. 8) : " Be- 
on the following passages (Dent. iv. 2): " You ware, lest any man cheat you by philosophy 
shall not add to tlie woid that I speak to and vain deceit, according to the tradition 
you, neither shnll you take away from it:'' of men." 
(Matth. XT. 6) : " And j-ou have made void 



Catuolic Doctrine on this Subject. 

Besides the Holy Scriptures, the Traditions of the 
Church are to be admitted, without which both the 
existence and the meaning of the Holy Scriptures 
would be uncertain, and many things necessary to 
salvation would be defective."" 

" The Catholics quote the aiitliority of 
St. Paul, eomniaiuling (2 Thess. ii. 14) to 
keep tlie Traditions received eitlier by word 
or by writini; ; " Brethren, stand last and 
hold the Traditions which yon have learned, 
whether by word or by our Epistle." And 
with St Basil (who flourished the year 350), 
they are persuaded tliat, "The dogmas which 
are held and preached in the Church are de- 
rived partly from the written Doctrine, and 
p.artly from the Apostolical Tradition mys- 
teriously brought to us, and that both have 
the same claim on our pious resjicct." Qu^ 
utraque camdem ad pirtatetn vim habcnt. 
And conclude by saying that, without ad- 
mitting the Tradition of the Church, we 

could not be certain that the Holy Scriptures 
contain the unadulterated Word of God, nor 
of their real moaning, neither of the articlea 
of tlie Creed, and of many dogmas and prac- 
tices of our Christian belief, which are either 
explained or detined simjily through Tradi- 

In relation to the passages quoted above 
(note 46), the Catholics observe that the first 
passage has relation simply to the legal and 
ceremonial observances of the Jews ; that the 
second tells agaijist the deceitful tr-iditions 
of the elders opposed to the law of God ; and 
that the third condemns the assertions of 
the Gentiles in opposition to the Christian 


% 4. 

Waldensian Tenet. 

The Blessings and Consecrations practised in the 
Church do not confer any particular sanctity 
upon the things or persons blessed or conse- 

" The Waldenses equally condemn the consecration of the 
vestments of the Priests, of water, salt, ashes, candles, palms, 
food ; and also the consecration of Bishops, Priests, churches, 
altars, cemeteries, baptismal water, unctions with chrism 
and oil, &c. ; saymg that the objects thus consecrated do not 
receive any particular sanctity from those words, though 
the words by themselves are holy and good." ( Pilichdorif, 
ch. XXIX.)* 

* Repi-obant Valdenses hceretici consecrationes vestmm Sacenhtalmm, aqum, 
salts, cinerum, candelaiiiiii, jialmarum, ciborum et etiam consecrationes Episcopo- 
rum, Sacerdotum, Ecclesiarum, Altarhim, Ccemetei'iorum, aqua; BaptismaUs, Chris- 
matis ct Olii Unctiones etc. ; dicentes, res ilhis talitcr coiisccratas nihil omnino 
simjiduris sanctitatis ex illis verbis pei'dpere, licet verba in se sancta si?it et bona. 



Catholic Doctrine. 

To say that the blessings and consecrations used 
in the Church do not confer any particular sanctity, 
is to deny the most clear authority both of Scrip- 
ture and of Tradition." 

*' The Catholics con6rm their doctrine 
with the authority, 1st, of Exoflus (ch. 
xxix. 21): "And wlicn tliou (Moses) hast 
talcen of the blood that is upon the .altar, and 
of the oil of unction, thou shalt sprinlile 
Aaron and his vesture, his sons and their 
vestments ; and after they and their vest- 
ments are consecrated." And (chap. xl. v. 9, 
et sei/r/.) : " Thou shalt take the oil of unction 
and anoint the tabernacle with its vessels, 
tliat they may be sanctified .... Thou sh.alt 
consecr.ate all with the oil of unction, that 
they may be most holy." Indlij, Further, 
with the fact related in the Acts of the 
Apostles (viii. 17): "Then they ^Peter and 
John) laid their hands upon them, and they 
(the newly baptized) received the HolyGhost." 
And again (/A. xi.v. 6): "And when Saul 
imposed liis hands upon them, the Holy 
Ghost came upon them." And' with the 

expression of St. Paul (2 Timothy i. G): "I 
admonish thee that thou stir up the prace 
of God which is in thee by the imposition of 
my hands." Equally with the same, St. 
Paul (1 Timothy iv. 4, 5): " Every creature of 
God is good, and nothing is to be rejected 
that is received with thanksgiving; for it is 
sanctified by tlie words of God and prayers." 
.\nd with St. James (v. 14, 15): "Is any 
man sick among you ? Let him bring in the 
Priests of the Church, and let them pray 
over him, anointing him with oil in the name 
of the Lord, and the prayer of faith shall 
sjive the sick man." Srcliy, With the Liturgy 
of the Church, and the sayings of the 
Fathers of the first centuries of Christianity. 
St. Cyrillus, Catech. iii ; St. Cyprian, Ep. xii. 
lib. i.; St Augustin in Julian, lib. vi. cap. viii.; 
St. Basil de Sp. S. cap. xxvii., etc. 


Waldensian Tenet. 

The Catholic Priests, being all bad, have no autho- 
rity; and the Pope of Rome is the chief of all 

" The Waldenses are against the Church of Rome and 
the Sovereign Pontiff, and against all Prelates. (Reinerius 

" They say that the Pope is the chief of the heresiarchs." 
(PilichdorfF, ch. xvi).f 

" They state openly that no subjection is due to Priests, 
nor to the same Sovereign Pontiff, because, being wicked 
and not imitating the life of the Apostles, they do not 
possess any Divine authority, and that in consequence they 
have no power to absolve from sins." (Arch. Seyssell, 
sheet VII. ) J 

* Valdenses mint contra Ecclesiam Romanam et Summum Pontijiccm et omnes 
Prcelatos. (Sacco.) 

t Dicunt Papain esse caput hceresiarcJiamm. (Pilich.) 

t Sacerdotibits ininime parcndum esse prmdicant, ne Summo Pontifici qui- 
dem ; quippe qui, eo qnod mnli sunt nee Apostolorum vitam imitantur, nullum 
habent a Deo auctoritatem. D'mnttendorum peccator-um nullam Sacerdotes nostras 
potestatem habere. (Seyssell.) 



Catholic Doctrine. 

The authority of the consecrated Ministers of re- 
ligion depends upon their ordination and the insti- 
tution of our Lord, and not upon their behaviour as 
men : and the Pope of Rome is the successor of 
St. Peter, and the visible chief and ruler of the 
Universal Church.'" 

*' The Catholics argue that, as the per- 
sonal goodness of a layman does not confer 
on him the character of the Priesthood, so 
the personal wickedness of a particular Priest, 
though bringing condemnation to himself, 
yet does not taUe away from him the 
authority of his office : that, if the Walden- 
sian opinion were admitted, no one could be 
certain even to have been regenerated through 
Baptism. About the name of Heresiarcli 
given to the Roman Pontiff, also in the 
Waldensian JISS. ; on the ground of the 
Tradition of the Church, reported by Ter- 
tullian (" De Prfescript."), Origen (apud 
" Euseb. Histor." lil). iii. cap. 3), Saint 
Athannsius (" De fuga sua," and in " Ep ad 
Felicera Papam "), Cyprian (" De Unit. 
Eccl." and lib. i. Ep. viii. ad Plebcm), 
Jerome ('* Ep. li. ad Damasum "), Ambrose 
(in cap. iii. ad Tim.), Chrysostom (" Ep. ad 
Innocent, Papam"), Augustin (" Ep. contra 
Manich. cap. xiv.," and " Ep. clii. ad 
Donat."); and principally by Ireneua {Ad- 

versus litercses, lib. iii. cap. 1 et 3) ; tlie 
Catholics profess the contrary : and in ac- 
cordance with the General Council of Florence, 
held with the concurrence of the Eastern 
Church, the year 1439, under Eugenius IV, 
they maintain that the Pope of Rome is the 
Chief and Primate of the Church all through 
the world ; that he is the successor of Peter and 
the \'icar of Christ, with all power of feeding, 
ruling, and governing the Universal Church, 
&c. ("Concil." torn, xxxii., Parisiis, 1644). 
Definimus sanctam Aposlolicam Sedem et 
livmanitm Ponfificem, in nniversum orbem 
tenere primatiim, et ipsum Pontificem Ro- 
manum successorem esse bead Petri princi- 
pis Apostolorum et verum Christi Vicariitm, 
totivsfjve EccUsiae caput, et omnium Chris- 
t^anonnn patrem et doctorem eristere : et ipsi 
in hetitu Petro pasrendi, regendi et gubernandi 
unirersalejn Ecclesiam a Domino nostra Jesu 
Christo phnam potestatem traditam esse : 
quanadniodum etiam in gestis CEcumenicorum 
Conciliorum, et sacris canonibus continetur. 


§ 6. 

Waldensian Tenet. 

Everybody has the right to preach publicly the 
word of God. 

" The Waldenses say that the preaching of the Word of 
God is freely allowed to everybody." (^Eneas Sylvius.)* 

" They all preach indiscriminately, and without any dis- 
tinction of condition, age or sex." (Bernard Abbot Fontis 

Catholic Doctrine. 

The public preaching of the "Word of God is not 
allowed to persons not duly authorized by the 
Church ; and it is forbidden to women by St. Paul.*" 

* Dicuiit Valdcnses Uheram culque pnTdicationet)i verhi Dei patere. (jEneas 

"t Fnedicant omnes passim et sine dclcctu comlitionis, (etatis et sexus. (Abbas 
Fontis Calidi.) 

'" The Catholics, with Bernard, Ahbot of your Prelates and be subject to them." 

Chaude Fountain, a contemporarv of Peter And the same Apostle speaks of the women 

Waldensis, observe, that the Apostles did thus (1 Cor. xiv.): " Let women keep silence 

not preach of their own authority, but they in the Churches .... for it is a shame for a 

were sent by our Lord : and that St. Paul woman to speak in the Church." They ob- 

(Rom. X.) clearly said, that no body is serve besides with St. Peter (Eph. ch. i.), 

allowed to preach unless he be sent by the that " No prophecy of Scripture is made by 

legitimate Prelates of the Church ; respect- private interpretation, for the holy men of 

ing whom he says (ad Hebr. xiii.), "Obey God spoke inspired by the Holy Ghost." 


§ 7. 

Waldensian Tenet. 

Every person living, according to the precepts of the 
Apostles, has authority to hear Confessions. 

" The Waldenses say that all Christians, without any dis- 
tinction, have authority to hear Confessions, provided that 
they live in accordance with the precepts of the Apostles." 
(Arch. Seyssell.)*'' 

Catholic Doctrine. 

Nobody has authority to hear Sacramental Con- 
fessions or give Absolution of Sins, except Priests 
who possess lawful jurisdiction.*^ 

* Diciint Valdenses, Confesslonum audiendarum auctmnUUem Christianis 
passi7n omnibus, qui secundum Apostolorum prmcepta amhidant, esse concessam. 

" This Waldensian tenet was probably stood as relating only to the Priests of tbe 

founded on that passage of St. James Church mentioned a little before by the same 

(v. 14, 1.5) : "Confess therefore your sins Apostle; and they add, that the power of 

one to another, and pray for one anotlier." forgiving sins was given by our Lord, not to 

'^ The Catholics say, that if tlie above- all liis disciples, but to the Apostles, and in 

mentioned passage of St. James applies to their persons to their legitimate successors 

the Sacramental Confession, it is to be under- only. 


§ 8. 

Waldensian Tenet. 

Every Oath is a mortal sin. 

" The Walclenses also say that every oath, although taken 
in a court of justice and with truth, is a sin, and to be con- 
demned." (Pilichdorflf.)* 

" It is another error that they say that every oath is a 
mortal sin." (Seyssell.)t^^ 

Catholic Doctrine. 

Oaths taken with due deliberation and in the 
interest of truth and justice, are praiseworthy, in 
accordance with Jeremiah (ch. iv.) : " Thou shalt 
swear, as the Lord liveth, in truth and in judgment 
and in justice."^* 

* Item dicunt Valdenses quod onine jiiramentum, qtiantumciimque judidaliter 
et veridice factum, sit peccatum et reprobatum. (PilichdorfF.) 

t Aliiis error quo dicunt omne juramentum esse peccatum morfale. (Arch. 

" This opinion of the Waldenses is say that every oath is absolutely and uncon- 

founded on that saying of our Lord (Matth. ditionallj' forbidden. Because St. Paul says 

v.); "But I say to you, Swear not at all (Heb. vi.), that "An oath for confirmation 

... let jour speech be yea, yea, nay, nay, is the end of all . . . controversy." And the 

and whatsoever is more than this, cometh same Apostle swore saying (ad Kom. i.), 

of evil." "God is my witness, whom I serve." And 

** The Catbolics understand this exprcs- not only the angel in the Apocalypse (ch. 

sion of our Lord in this sense only, that we x. 6), " Swore by Him that liveth for ever and 

are not allowed to swear rashly and impru- ever ;" but also our Lord often swears in the 

dently; and that our taking oaths by the Gospels. And in Deuteronomy (ch. vi.), is 

name of God is also blameable, when it is to thus prescribed : " Thou shalt fear the Lord 

a falsehood, or without due consideration, or thy God . . . and thou shalt swear by his 

for an unjust cause. But at the same time, name." 
the Catholics maintain that it is a mistake to 



§ 9. 

Waldensian Tenet. 

Every lie is a mortal sin. 

" Another error of the "Waldenses is their saying that every 
lie is a mortal sin." (Arch. Seyssell).*^' 

Catholic Doctrine. 

Though every lie is a fault, yet there are lies 
which do not make men guilty of a mortal sin.^" 

* Alius error quo Vakknses assenmt, omne memlacinm esse peccatum inor- 
tale. (Areh. Seyssell.) 

" The source of this opinion may be 
traced to the following passages understood 
by them in an absohite sense : " The mouth 
that lieth killetli the soul " (Wisdom i. 11); 
and, " Lying lips are an abomination to the 
Lord" (Wov. xii. 22). 

■'* The Catholics understand the Scriptural 
passages above quoted with some limitation, 
not to follow into an absurdity if they be 
taken unconditionally. For instance, it 
being written : " Every man is a liar," on 
the supposition that evei^ lie is a mortal sin. 

it would follow that every man is an enemy 
of God, deserving everlasting perdition ; as 
it is also written that God will send into 
perdition all those who speak lies. And 
they quote untrue assertions made by Joseph 
the Patriarch, by the Jewish midwives, by 
Judith, &c. &c. And on the consideration 
that these persons are not condemned by 
the Bible as guilty of a mortal sin on that 
account, the Catholics conclude that this 
Waldensian opinion is untenable. 


^ 10. 

Waldensian Tenet. 

Purgatory is a dream, an invention of the sixth 

" Therefore the Scriptui-e says, and we must believe it, 

That all the men of the world will go through two roads : 
The good will go into glory, the wicked to torments." 

(La Nohla Leyq.on.')* 

" As there is not any express mention of such place as 
Purgatory in any passage of the Law, nor have the Apostles 
left to us any express instrviction about it, nor has the 
primitive Church, acting in accordance with the Gospel, left 
to us any order or command about the same ; and only after 
the year of our Lord five hundred and fifty-eight Pope 
Pelagius gave an order that a commemoration for the dead 
should be made in the Mass ; it remains that there is not 
any obligation to believe as an article of faith that after this 
life there is such a place as Purgatoi-y." (^o i^llCgatOCi SJOl'ma, 
The dream of the Purgatory. Waldensian Treatise).f 

" In this article of Purgatory the Barbas of the Waldenses 
go astray veiy much, because they say that the departed 
souls ai'e immediatel}' either bi'ought to eternal joy or 

* i$la Tcscriptuta tii t nos crcjrr lo Beben 
SDue tuit H Ijome Bel mont pet Bui cljamin tenten, 
Hi bon Etcn en slotia, li fellon in toimcnt. 

(La Nohla Lcy<;on.) 

t <S,om m altun iuoc tn la Ic? non faja alcuna 0pte5a mention B'aitat luoc Be 
)13utcsatori, ni li apoatol an laisea a noa alcun aptes cnseienamenr, ni la gleiea 
ptimititia conbersant acconB Ij dEtjanedi . . . non an li ora (BelibeteB) a noa alcuna 
coaa pet otBenamrnt nc pet cotntnanBatnent ; ma ©elaoi IPapa en aptca li an Bel 
gieicnoi cinq cena ct cinquanta J)utt, ac legia lug atet otBcna, que en la meaaa at 
apa tccDtBania Be li mott, la teata que la non ea Be necceaiia ctcite anaima attide 
Be jFe, eaaer aital luoc Be iPutgatoti en apiea a queata toita. {Lo Ptirgaioyt soima, 
Waldensian Treatise.) 


plunged into everlasting torments ; and °' that Purgatory 
is a fiction invented by tlic avarice of the Clergy." (Arcli. 

CATiroLic Doctrine. 

The existence of Purgatory has been always be- 
lieved in the Church of God, and it is an article of 
Christian faith." 

* In hoc (irticulo {de Purgatorio) Valdeusiiim Barbm aberrant maxime . . . 
aiunt en'im dcfunctorum animas ad o'terna vet ijaud'ia vel siippUcin . . . confestim 
recipi, eccles'uisticosque v'lros cupidkate exccecatus Pun/atorimn conjixitsse. (Arch. 

■" While believing with the Church that 
there are only two eternal places, the one 
prepared for the friends, the other for the 
enemies of God, heaven and hell; the 
Catholics hold with the same Church that 
there is a third place in the next world, called 
Purgatory, where all persons, who die in the 
grace of God, but not having yet made suf- 
Keient penance for their sins already pardoned 
in relation to their guilt, are sent to be 
punished, till the}-, having perfectly satisfied 
the justice of God, are admitted to heaven. 

^" As to the assertions, that "No such 
place as Purgatory has been known in the 
primitive Church," the Catholics, besides 
mentioning some passages of St. Matth. 
(chap, xii.), and of St. Paul (1 Cor. chap. iii. 
&c.), quote the twelfth chapter of the second 
book of the Maccabees. The first and the 
second book of this name are acknowledged as 
Canonical by theCatholic Church, though they 
are not in the Canon of the .Jews, as it was 
written under Esdras, namely, long before the 
existence of the JLaccahees. Xow we read there 
that "Judas making agathering, sent twelve 
thousand drachmns of silver to Jerusalem for 
sacrifices to be offered for the sins of the 
dead." And that, " It is therefore a holy 
and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, 
that they m.ay be loosed from sins." Upon 
which p.assage St. Augustin thus remarks 
(" De curapro Mortuis," cap. i.): " We read 
in the books of the JIaccabees, that a sacri- 
fice was offered for the dead. Yet though 
nothing of the kind could be read in the old 
.Scriptures, not light is the authority of the 
Universal Church, which is openly famous for 
this practice ; where the commomor.ation for 
the dead has its place amongst the pr.iyers 

of the Priests, which are offered to our Lord 
at his altar." In Maccabteorum libris legimiis 
oblatum pro mortuis sacrificium. Sed, etsi 
numqttam in Scripturis veteribus onuiino 
legereliir, noil pauca est Universe Ecclesim, 
qua in hac consuctudine rlttrct auctoritas ; 
ubi in preribus Saccrdotin, quts Domino Deo 
ad eius aitare funduntuTy locum hahet etitim 
commendutio mortuorum. The Catholics 
quote besides the old Litui'gies and a great 
number of Fathers of the Church, some of 
whom flourished in the very first centuries of 
Christianity, and all previous to the time of 
the Popes Pelagius and Gregory the Great. 
They are all speaking of tlie sufirages for 
the souls of the dead, they mention the 
purging fire, and some of them expressly say, 
that this belief has been taught by the 
Apostles (see Tertull. " De corona Militis," 
cap. iii.; Origen, "Horn. 12 in Iliercm;" 
St. Cyrill of Jerus"". " Catech. 8 Mystig. ante 
medium;" St. Cyprian, Ep. Ixvi., and very 
often St. Augustin. I will only quote St. 
Chrysostom (Horn. ii. in Ep'". ad Philip.), 
" It is not without reason, that by the Apostles 
it has been prescribed that, during the cele- 
bration of the venerable mysteries, a com- 
memoration be made of those who departed 
from us. The Apostles knew that thence 
they sliould obtain a great emolunieiit, a 
great advantage . . . Flow should we not 
appease God by praying for them." Non 
frustra ah Apostolis sanrilum, lit in celibra- 
tione veiicrandoriim Mi/stcriorum memoriu 
fiat corum qui hinc dormierunt. Noverunt, 
iUis multum hinc emolumcntum fieri, multum 
utilitatis .... Quomodo Deuin non plarare- 
nius pro istis ornnten? 


S 11. 

Waldensian Tenet. 

The Indulgences of the Church are an invention 
of covetous Priests. 

" The Waldenses equally condemn the Indulgences of 
the Prelates of the Church." (Pilichdorff) .* 

" They affirm that Indulgences are an invention of bad 
Priests, in order to extort money from the ignorant." (Arch. 

Catholic Doctrine. 

The power of granting Indulgences is not derived 
from any invention of man, but from the authority 
given by our Lord to the Church. '*° 

* Item rcprohont Vaklenses Indulgmtias Prcelatorum Ecclesice. (Pilich- 

t IjJsi affirmant . . . Indvlgentias esse mventas a pseiuhsacenhtihus ad 
extorqiiendas ab imperitis pecunias. (Arch. SeysseU.) 

*' The WaHensea enjoy the reputation of tibus et confessis et contritis. 
having made the first attack upon ludul- *" The Catholic doctrine about Indulgences 

gences. Wicklitf, Huss, Luther, Melancthon, is this, that when our Lord said to His 

and principally Calvin, distinguished them- Apostles (Matth. xviii.) : " Whatsoever you 

selves bv dwelling on the same doctrine ; but shall . . . loose upon earth shall be loosed 

we do not know of any body of refoiniers also in heaven ; " He gave to the first Pre- 

who had taken their stand against Indul- lates of the Church tlic power of remitting to 

gences before the Waldenses. Pilichdorff the penitent man, under some conditions, the 

(ch. XXX.) admits that the Waldenses and temporal penalties due for the sins already 

many Catholics of his time doubted about pardoned in relation to their guilt, but not 

the value of Indulgences by reason of the yet atoned by the necessary satisfaction to 

indiscreet promises of the collectors of alms : the justice of God. And beginning with the 

Hoc facit indiscreta prominciutio quasliio- pardon given by St. Paul to the penitent 

iiortimSacerdol!o:i,qviindifferenter omnibus man of Corinth (2 Cor. ii.), and continuing 

liominibus hoc et iltiid fucientilms Indul- with the pardon granted by the Church to 

gentius promittunt. However, the same repentant sinners, at the request and through 

author adds that those assertions and pro- the intercession of those who had suffered or 

mises were made against the intention of the were suffering for their faith ; the Catholics 

Pope and of the Prelates of tlje Church, conclude by quoting Indulgences granted 

who do not grant Indulgences to every body, Irom ancient times to those who visited on 

but onh- to those who are truly penitent, some stated days, particular Churches or 

who confess and are contrite : Et hoc non holy places, or performed some prescribed 

est in mente Domini Pap<t et aliorum Pra- pious works, centuries and centuries before 

latonim, qui non dant eas nisi vere pceniti n- the Waldenses rose against them. 


Waldexsian Tenet. 

There is no obligation to fast, nor to keep holy 

any day, Sunday excepted. 

" Another error of the Waldenses is to reprove religious 
abstinence." (Arch. Seyssell, sheet lxxiii.).* 

" No day is to be kept holy, except Sunday." (Eneas 
Sylvius, "Hist. Bohem.")f 

Remarks : To fast and to keep holy some particular days 
in the week are laws of the Church. Therefore the united 
assertions of the Waldenses may be considered as corollaries 
to that tenet, in which they maintained that the Prelates of 
the Church, being all wicked, have no authority, and that in 
consequence their precepts are not binding. Yet the Wal- 
denses did not condemn voluntary mortifications, &c. as we 
have seen before. 

Catholic Doctrine. 

All Christians are obliged to keep holy, not only 
the Sundays, but also all other particular days 
appointed by the authority of the Church ; and to 
fast and abstain on some other days, according to 
the ordinances of the same Church, if there is no 
good reason to be exempted. There may be quoted 
here St. Augustin, ("Ad Januariuni," Ejns. 118. 2), 
saying, that St. Ambrose told him thus: " W^hen I 
go to Rome I fast on the Sabbath day, when I am 
here (in Milan) I do not fast. You do the same. 
Keep the custom of the Church of that place in 
which you are." Cum Romam venio jejimo Sabbato, quum 
hie sum non jejuno. Sic etiam tu, ad quain forte Ecclesiam 
veneris, ejiis morem serva. 

* Alius error Valdensium quo improbant jejunia. (Arch. Seyssell.) 
t Nulla die lib opere cesswidum, niii Dominica. (Eneas Sylvius). 


§ 13. 

Wai-densian Tenet. 

The Invocation of Saints cannot be admitted. 

" Now, it is to be said of the Invocation of Saints, which 
(the Catholics) publish as it were an article of faith, saying 
that the Saints existing in heaven are to be prayed to by us 
Avho live. . . . And this does not appear worthy of belief." 
(AValdensian Treatise).* 

" They hold that the blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints 
of heaven are not to be invoked by us, because they cannot 
pray for us. . . . They do not say the 'Hail Mary.' " (Pilich- 

" They say that mortals are not in need of their interces- 
sion, Christ alone being more than sufficient to do everything 
for us all ; and the Saints absorbed in the delights of their 
felicity do not know what is passing here below" (Arch. 

* 9ta C0 a Dire tc Tintiocation We It emtt, la qual publican coma pet article 
Ue fe, Discnt que li sanct existent en la patria celeotial sun B'cBset preca Ua noB 
bient, . . . ffit ai50 non CS bist C00Ct De Ctepte. OVahlensian Treatise.) 

t Tenetit Bcatam Virg'niciii et iidiidos hi patria non esse invocandos a nobis, 
quia non iwssunt orare pro iwbis . . . Non dicunt ' Ave Maria.' (Piliehdorff. ) 

X Dicunt Sanctorum . . . suffragio moriales non indigere, Christo omnilms 
ad omnia abunde sujjiciente. . . . Et Sanctos ea qtice in sceculojiunt ignorare, tanta 
fdicitatis illius aincenitate capti. (Arch. Seyssell.) 



Catholic Doctrine. 

It is good and useful to have recourse to the 
intercession of Saints, and all persons who con- 
demn this practice are out of the pale of the 

^' The Catholic teaching on the invocation 
of Saints is not precisely that expressed by 
tlie quoted Waldensian tenet. The defini- 
tion of the Church does not say tliat the 
Saints of heaven are to be prayed to by us ; 
as though any Christian, who does not pray 
through the Saints, were a trespasser against 
the prescription of the Church. She only 
says that the invocation of Saints is good and 
useful in accordance with the Tradition and 
the written doctrine of the Old and New 
Testament. Tlie condemnation, therefore, of 
the Catholic Church is only against those 

who say that the Saints are not to be in- 
voked; that they do not pray for us; that 
their invoc.ition is an idolatry against the 
Word of God, and against our only Mediator 
Jesus Christ, &c. (see Council of Trent, sess. 
25, Dfcr. dc invocationey vtncratione, ^c. 
Sanctor.) The Catholics, while invoking the 
Angels and Saints, and Mary the motlier of 
Christ, do not mean any thing else than to 
have them as intercessors with our Lord, 
from whom alone every good gift and grace 
conies upon men. 


§ 14. 
Waldensian Tenet. 

Every honour given in the Church to the holy 
images or paintings, and to the relics of Saints 
is to be abolished. 

" The Antichrist makes the people idolaters : he deceit- 
fully causes them to serve the idols of all the world vmder 
the name of Saints and of relics. ... He causes the wor- 
ship of Latria, due only to God, to be given to men, male 
and female Saints parted from this world, and to their images, 
noisome corpses, relics." (Waldensian Treatise on the Anti- 

" The Waldenses say that the Images and Pictures are to 
be abolished." (Reinerius Sacco.)f 

" They say that Christians are idolaters by reason of 
Images and the Cross." (PilichdoriF.)J 

• Eo anticl)ti0t fa iDoIotct lo poblf, oetbir frauTioIentcment a loa ioolae rse 
tot lo monu 0ot li sant ct a laa reliquiae. . . . iDa (atria a li Ijome sanct o sanctas 
trapassa Daqucst monti, as a l&e imagcnaa tie lot, ealas, rcliquiafi. (Waldensian 
Treatise " de Antichrist.") 

t Imagines et Picturas diciint esse aholendus. (Reinerius Saeco.) 
J Biaint Christianos esse khlolatros propter Imagines et S'ujnum Crudjixi. 

^^ Some ground for this Waldensian tenet above, or that are in the earth beneath, or 

is to be found in Deuteronomy (ch. v.), and that abide in the water under the eartli. 

in Exodus (ch.xx), where it is said: "Thou Thou shalt not adore them, and thou shalt 

shalt not make to thyself a craven thine;, nor not serve them. For I am the Lord thy 

tlie likeness of any things that arc in heaven God, a jealous God." 



Catholic Doctrine. 

The religious honour given in the Church to holy 
images and paintings, and to the relics of Saints, 
is in accordance with the revelation of the Bible 
and ancient Tradition, and has nothing to do with 
idolatry. ''' 

"' The Catholics understand the quoted 
passage not as forbidding us to make any 
figures or paintings, or giving any kind of 
honour to them, but as simply and solely 
forbidding the making of figures or paintings 
of any thing in order to adore them as idols 
and gods. They quote, besides, many other 
passages of the same Bible, in which the 
figures which God ordered lIo.«es and David 
to make, and place in the sanctuary in the 
middle Teniph', &e. are mentioned. The 
same Catholics confirm their interpret.ition 
by s,aying that, if a different explanation be 
given to the quoted passage, it would imply 
an open contradiction between the two 
orders issued by the same .\lmighty God. 

Further, explaining the Greek word 
*' AarpEja,"' as meaning the supreme highest 
religious honourdue to God alone, principally 
by the offering of sacrifices ; and stating that 
in the Catholic Church no sacrifice is offered 
to Mary the Jlother of God, nor to any 
Angel or Saint, or to any painting or figure of 
Saints ; but only to God alone, and that the 
Saints are simply honoured as friends and 
servants of God, and their figures and relics 
as objects relating to tlie servants and friends 
of God ; the s-nme Catliolics disclaim any 
participation with idolatry, or with idolatrous 
superstitions (see St. Augustin " Contra 
Faustum," lib. v. cap. xix, and lib. xxiv. 
cap. V.)- 


% 15. 

On two tenets relating to Lay Magistrates, 
and to the precept, not to kill. 

Eneas Sylvius (l. c.) assures us that the Waldenses 
held, that " A lay magistrate, if wicked and guilty of a 
mortal sin, does not possess any authority, and that he 
then is not to be obeyed."* And Archbishop Seyssell 
states, that " They affirmed generally that to kill a man is 
a mortal sin.""]' Nevertheless, it does not seem that these 
two tenets can be jiut in the roll of their unchanged religious 
opinions. Because they at any rate retracted the former 
before the middle of the sixteenth century, when they pro- 
fessed " To acknowledge the Princes of the earth." And 
in relation to the latter, the same Archbishop Seyssell re- 
marks, that " The Waldenses of his time did not hold it 
unconditionally, but made some exception, for instance, 
when a man is executed in accordance with the laws of 
justice, for public vengeance," &c. 

* Qui mortalis culpae reus sit, eum neqiie Saeculaii neque Ecclesiastka diff- 
nitute pollere, neque parendum ei. (Eneas Sylvius.) 

t Omne Jwtnkidium mortale peccatum esse affirmant. (iSeyssell.) 


Catholic Doctrine. 

Every legitimate magistrate is to be obeyed as 
far as concerns his lawful authority, as St. Paul 
says (Rom. xiii. 2), that " He that resisteth the 
power, resisteth the ordinance of God ; and they 
that resist purchase to themselves damnation." 
And with St. Peter (1 Eph. ii.) they repeat: "Fear 
God. Honour the King. Servants be subject to 
your masters with all fear, not only to the good 
and gentle, but also to the froward." 

In relation to the precept, Not to kill, the Catholics, 
whilst maintaining that every wilful murder and suicide is 
a mortal sin ; at the same time admit that there are instances 
in which the destruction of man's life is not to be accounted 
to be a sin : as when a criminal deserving capital punishment 
is condemned and put to death; when soldiers are fighting 
and killing in time of lawful war ; and also when it happens 
that a man occasionally kills another in self-defence, or 
through some innocent mistake, &c. Therefore, if the 
Waldenses admitted alike exceptions, there could not have 
been any disagreement on this point between them and the 


Section IV, 


^FTER having related the principal tenets of the 
ancient Waldenses, I will now quote some of the 
articles contained in that Waldensian confession 
of faith, which their Bohemian brethren sent to Wladislaus, 
King of Hungary, in the year 1508 (" Rerum Bohem. An- 
tiqui Scriptores," by Freher. Hanovin^, 1602). As I under- 
took to mention the religious doctrines held by the Waldenses 
before the time of Luther and Calvin, I feel myself obliged 
to say something on the said confession of faith, on account 
of its having been written before the time of the said 

In the fourteenth centuiy John Wickliff rose in Eng- 
land, and in the following century John Huss in Bohemia. 
These two followed the Waldenses in nearly all their tenets 
enumerated in our last section, and on this ground Wickliff 
and Huss might be styled Waldensian disciples, though 
they added many more articles of their own, at variance 
with the universal Church. Thence it naturally hajjpened 
that the Bohemian Waldenses, though in some way their 
masters, in other points followed the novelties of their 




" The Bohemian Waldenses held that Auricular 
Confession is useless, and that it is enough to con- 
fess our sins to God." (Eneas Sylvius, " Bohem. 

Catholic Doctrine. 

There is an obligation imposed by our Lord upon 
Christians to confess their grievous sins to the 
authorized priests. ''" 

* Auticularem Confessionem nugarem 
fiter'i pcccata. (Eneas Sylvius, l. c.) 

esse; sitfficere sita quemque Deo con- 

^* The reason generally alleged against 
Auricular Confession is chiefly this, that God 
alone knows men's hearts, and He alone 
forgives the repentant sinners. 

" The Catholics, on the authority of the 
Gospels understood in accordance witU the 
old Trailition of the Church, hold that 
Auricular Confession of sins is commanded to 
Christians by our Lord with His positive 
precept, when lie said (John xx. 23) : 
" whose sins you s^hall forgive, they are for- 
given them, and whose sins you shall retain, 
they are retained." And in support of this 
doctrine, thev quote the Acts of the Apostles 
(xix. 18), St. James (v. 15), Origen 
(•' Horn. 2 in Levit. ad Horn. 2 in Pa. 37"), 
St. Cyrian (" De Lapsis"),' St. Gregory 
of Nyssa (" Adversus eos qui conversione in- 

digent."), St. Basil (in "Reg. Brev." 288), 
St. Augustin (Horn. 49, ex lib. 50 Homil.), 
St. Leo the Great (Ep. 91, ad " Thcod. 
Episc"), &c. &c. And in relation to the 
Decree of the General Council of Lateran, 
under Innocent III., in the year 1215, 
obliging every adult Christian to confess his 
sins to the lawful Priest at least once a 
year ; the Catholics remark that it was not 
a law estiblishing .Auricular Confession for 
the first time (as Auricular Confession of 
sins is a part of the Sacrament of Peniinco 
instituted by our Lord), but a simple law of 
the Church, directing Christians not to allow 
a year to pass without fulfilling this already 
existing divine precept of confessing their 
grievous sins. 


§ 2. 


Another change m the Waldensian doctrine, and a very 
substantial one, is the definition of the Church. They say 
(l. c. p. 240), " That the holy Catholic Church, which they 
believe is the whole of the elect from the beginning of the 
world to its end." But that in relation to the ministries, 
" They believe that the holy Catholic Church is the con- 
gregation of all Ministers and people obeying the Divine 
will, and by obedience united under the same subjection 
from the beginning till the consummation of all times." 
Which is in substance the definition printed by Morland in 
the Catechism, in shape of dialogue, between the Barba and 
the Infant. "The Church of God" (it is said there) "com- 
prises in her substance the whole of the elect of God ; but, 
in what relates to her ministry, the Church of God com- 
prises the Ministers with the people subject to them, and 
participating in the same ministries through faith, hope, 
and charity." 



The Catholics, regarding the quoted definitions as con- 
fused as well as very gratuitous in what relates to the Church 
of God on this earth, which ought to be Visible, One, Holy, 
Catholic, or Universal and Apostolic; reject them, and thus 
define the Church of God on earth : 

" The Church is the society of all those who profess 
the faith and the docti'ine of Christ ; which Church Christ, 
the Prince of Shepherds, confided to the Apostle Peter and 
his Successors"** to be ruled and o-overned."* 

* Ecclesin est omnium Christi fidem atqiie (loctruiam profitentium univerd- 
tas, quam princeps ixistorum Christus turn Petro Apostolo turn htijus Succesnorihus 
poicendam tradidit atque (fuhernandam. (Peter Canisius, " Christian Doctrine," 
Colonioe, 1577, p. 131). 

^ The writer of this definition of the should unite to the Church of Rome for the 

Church illustrates and explains its list part sake of her powerful primacy, and for her 

with many authorities; and concludes with having kept the Tradition of the Apostles :" 

that well known passage of one of the oldest Ad hone Ecclesiam propter potentiorem (alibi 

fathers of the Church, quoted and praised potiorem) principalitittem necesse est omnem 

also by TertuUian, St. Irena?us ("Adversus convenire Ecclesiam, hoc est, eos qui sunt 

Haeres." lib. in. cap. iii.), who s-iys that " It vndiquefideles ; in qua semper ab iis qui sunt 

ia necessarj' that all Churches, namely, all undique conservata est ea qua est ab Apoa- 

believers existing in every part of the world, talis Tradilio." 



§ 3. 


" It is necessary to receive the Holy Eucharist 
under the two kinds of bread and wine." (" Rerum. 
Bohem. Script." l. c. p. 250)." 


It is not commanded, nor necessary, that laymen 
should receive the Holy Communion under the two 
kinds of bread and wine.'^' 

*' The Bohemian Waldenses supported 
their assertion by that passage of the Gospel 
in which it is said, tliat without eating tlie 
flesh and drinking the blood of the Lord, we 
shall not have life in us. 

^' While admitting that at the beginning 
of Christianity, laymen received generally 
the communion under the two kinds of bread 
and wine, when they assisted at the celebra- 
tion of tlie Holy mysteries; the Catholics, in 
support of their doctrine, make the following 
remarks : — 1st, That even in the Primitive 
Church, the Holy Communion, when not ad- 
ministered to those present at the time of 
the celebration of the Holy mysteries, was 
given under the kind of bread alone, not only 
to the laity, but also to the Priests and 
Bishops. 2ijcl, That as our Saviour assumed 
our human nnture, soul and body, in unity 
of His Divine Person, and as His living body 
is undivided from His Divine blood ; to re- 
ceive the communion under one kind (say of 

bread) alone is to receive at the same time 
His blood. 3rd, That, in consequence, an 
equal grace is given to those who receive our 
Lord under the two kinds, or under the kind 
of bread alone, if they are equally well disposed 
in their souls, ith, Tliat to give the com- 
munion under the two kinds, or under the 
kind of bread alone, is a matter lei't to the 
discretion of the Church, as is the case with 
all other practices which do not pertain to 
the substance of Sacraments (see the "Coun- 
cil of Trent," sess. 21, ch. i., and segg.). 
For these re.isons, the Catholics conclude 
that it is not necessary to receive tlie Holy 
Eucharist under the two kinds of bread and 
wine ; and that the Ciiurch had and has the 
lawful power to jirescribc to the laity, and to 
the Priests and Bishops, when the}' are not 
themselves celebrating the Holy Jlysteries, 
to receive the communion under the kind of 
bread alone. 



§ -i- 


" The Bohemian Waldenses rejected admittance 
to the word 'Transubstantiation' in reference to the 
Mystery of Eucharisty." (" Rerum Bohem. Script." 
L. c. p. 264)."^ 


The doctrine expressed by the word " Transub- 
stantiation " is founded on the written and the tra- 
ditional W^ord of God, and has been always believed 
in the Church." 

® Tlie word Transithstantuition, adopted 
by that General Council of Latcran, nnder 
Innocent HI. — by wliich the Waklenses were 
condemned in 1215 — was rejected by the 
Bohemian Waldensea, after having adopted 
with Wickllff the tenet that the substance 
of bread and wine remains in the Eucharist 
after the words of consecration, as the 
Lutlierans also did afterwards. Tet the 
same Boiiemian Waldense.'', in this confession 
of faith, still admit in some degree the real 
presence of the body of Christ in the 
Eucharist, as appears from the following 
words (l. c. pag. 261): " Dichnus aiitem et 
simpUciter confitemur quod nobis est iiiiiis 
Deus et unua Dominita Jesus Chrislus, et 
quod est in Sacramento cum sua naturali 
corpore talis sed per aliam eristenliam quam 
in deitris Dei, et adlnic dicimus quod est 
etiam cum came spiritali." 

'<> The doctrine of the Catholic Church 
expressed by the word Transubstantiation, 
is tliis, that when a duly consecrated Priest 
pronounces officially the words of consecra- 
tion on the bread and nine, then, by the 
power of the .\hnighty, the substance of the 
bread and of the wine is changed into the 
substance of the body and blood of Christ, 
notwithstanding the outline, and form, and 
taste of bread and wine remaining un- 
changed. And this doctrine is derived both 
from the Evangelists, and from the sayings 

of St. Paul (ad Cor. Ep, 1), and is ex- 
plained by the old Fathers of the Church. 
I will quote here, as an instance, the ex- 
pressions of St. CyriU of Jerusalem (" Cat. 4 
Mystag.") : " When Christ himself thus 
affirms and says of the bread, ' This is mv 
body,' who is there afterwards who should 
dare to be doubtful? Once heclianged tho 
water into wine by his holy will, and is it 
not right to believe him, that he had changed 
the wine into blood? Therefore, let us re- 
ceive the body and blood of Christ with all 
certainty. Because, under the species of 
bread, is given his body to you, and under 
the species of wine, is given to you his 
blood. Keep it as most certain that the 
bread which we see is not bread, though to 
our taste it seems bread, but it is the body 
of Christ; and the wine which we see, 
though to the taste appears to be wine, it is 
not wine, but it is the blood of Christ." 
Quare cum omiii certitvdine corpus et 
sanguinem Christi sumamus. Nam sub 
specie panis datur tibi corpus, et sub specie 
vini datur sanguis , . . Pro certissimo habeas 
panem hunc qui videtur a nobis non esse 
pancm, etiamsi gustus panem esse sentiat, sed 
esse corpus Christi, et vinum quod a nobis 
conspicilur, tametsi sensui gustus vinum esse 
videalur, non tamen vinum, sed sanguinem 
esse Christi. 



)T has been clearly proved, by means of undeniable 
authorities, that the Waldenses had their first 
origin in the second halt" of the twelfth century, 
and that Peter of Vaud, the rich merchant of Lyons, was 
their founder; that the persecutions endured by the Wal- 
denses in Piemont were chiefly caused by their transgressing 
the laws of the country and the orders of their civil rulers ; 
that the barbarities described by an unfaithful historian, and 
on his authority published by other writers, as perpeti'ated 
against them in the year 1655, are all mere inventions of a 
deceiver; and that the religious opinions adopted by the 
same Waldenses, after separating from the Universal Church, 
are not the doctrines taught by our Lord or his Apostles. 

The gentle reader, who has seen and perused this little 
volume, not commendable indeed for its elocution and style, 
but yet entitled to some consideration on account of the 
authorities and documents herein contained, will, I hope, 
take now the trouble to cast his eyes again on my pre- 
face, and compare the established historical facts with the 
unwarranted assertions related there to have been made 
at a meeting held last year at the London residence of a 
noble Duke. In making this comparison, he will be sur- 
prised at seeing the old saying confirmed, that " There is 
nothing so clear and certain that may not be easily dis- 
torted by false assertions and sophistries." In fact, none of 
those bold assertions there made, can stand when brought 
face to ftxce with the real facts. Every proposition stated 
there is not only incorrect, but has not any foundation of 
truth. It is not true that the " Waldenses had guarded 
the primitive Christianity of the Apostles for at least six- 


teen hundred years." Thvy appeared the first time only 
six hundi'ed years ago. It is not true, that " The beginning 
of their belief is unknown." By a great number of con- 
temporaries it is proved that they separated from the 
Universal Church, of whom they were children, in the second 
half of the twelfth century. And, setting aside the other 
assertions respecting their doctrines and sufferings, so fully 
contradicted in the second and third parts, it is not true 
that Irenceus, the glorious Bishop and Martyr of Lyons, 
" Had founded in the second century a Church for the Wal- 
denses." They did not exist until ten centuries after his 
time. That St. Irenasus, the champion of the Ajjostolical 
succession of the Roman Pontiffs, the assertor of the Tradi- 
tions of the Church, the conqueror of all heresies, can be 
stated to have founded a Church for those who resisted the 
Roman Church, re:iected the Traditions of the ancient 
Fathers, and held doctrines characterized as heretical by 
the same Church, is most intolerable and calumnious. 

The labour I have undergone in collecting and putting 
in order and commenting upon the documents published, 
many of them for the first time, in this volume, will not be 
despised, I hope, by those learned men who, being free from 
prejudiced opinions, will be glad to see some better light 
shining upon the Waldensian origin and facts. These facts 
have too often been distorted and misrepresented, on ac- 
count of the narrative of John Leger being taken as a true 
historical statement. It will be a full reward to me, and 
will cause me to forget the tediousness of my labour, if 
these persons will judge that I have not lost my time, 
and am giving to the public a volume not altogether un- 

Before ending I cannot disguise my fear in relation to 
another class of persons, who have tho idea deeply rooted 
in their mind that the Waldenses are the link of the; golden 
chain connecting the Protestants and neAv Reformers with 
the Apostles and disciples of the Primitive Church. "When 


hearing of a book which shows clearly that the imaginary- 
link does not exist, and that the Apostolical origin, the 
innocent conduct, and the pure doctrine of the old Wal- 
denses cannot be maintained ; they will, perhaps, rise up 
againsi; my little work. I can well imagine that some of 
this class will at least say that this publication is only good 
for mischief ; that it is contrary to the persuasion of all the 
good friends of the Vaudois ; and that it would have been 
much better to have left matters as they stood for centuries. 
Such persons may be compared to that man mentioned by 
Horace, who, instead of being grateful to his friends for 
having restored him to his senses, reproached them in these 
words : " By Jove ! you have killed and not saved me, 
friends, by taking thus forcibly away my pleasure and the 
most pleasing rambling of my mind."* 

I conclude by saying to those, who are more influenced 
by party spirit than by a love of truth, that no objection 
against this poor volume will be conclusive, if the Docu- 
ments brought forward here are not proved to be false. 

* Pol ! me occidistis, amid, 
Non servdstis, ait ; cut sic extorta voluptas, 
Et demptus per vim mentis gratissimus error. 

(Hot. Epistol. lib. ii. ep, ii. ad Julium Florum.) 


JCTS, PubUc of Piemont, 
'KjMS^^ earliest in which the 
i^£^\MX Waldensos are named, 
Alms sent to the Wal- 
donses from England in 1655, to 
the amount of £7500, note 40, p. 60. 

Bakba, name given by the Walden- 
ses to their sph'itual rulers in Pie- 
mont, and why, 42 . 

Bellavilla (de). Sec Borboue. 

Beles Mayus, or Belesmanis, or Bo- 
lesmanis, Archbishop of Lyons, 
exiles the "Waldenses from his dis- 
trict, note 6, pp. 3, 12, 13, 14, 89. 

Bernard, Abbot of Chaude Fontaine, 
writer against the Waldenses about 
the year 1200; 14, 16. 

Archbishop of Narbonne, 

condemns the Waldenses as here- 
tics, according to the sentence of 
Eaymundus de Devontria, 14, 15. 

Primo, formerly a Waldensis, 

united to the Catholic Church, and 
chief of a religious society approved 
by Pope Alexander III., in 1210, 

Bianchi, a criminal condemned to 
death, quoted by J. Leger, as con- 
firming the details of his narrative, 

Blessings. See Consecration. 

Borbone, or de Bella Villa P. Stevan, 
a preacher of the Dominican order, 
author of a book on the gifts of the 
Holy Ghost, 9. 

his interesting account of the 

origin of the Waldenses, 10, 14. 

Bradshaw, Henry, Librarian of the 
University of Cambridge, discoverer 

of the long lost Waldensian manu- 
scripts, preface; 

his statement on the true dates 

of the same, 53, 54. 
Brethren of Our Lord, the so-called, 
his cousins, note 43, p. 99. 

CisiNis' (De) Samuel, opinions on the 
Waldenses, 31, 32. 

Champion (Rev. Edmund) view of 
the antiquity of the Waldenses, 
32, 33. 

Church (The) of God, failure of, under 
Pope Sylvester, asserted by the 
Waldenses, 8, 101. 

denied by the Catholics, note 44, 

p. 102. 

definition of, according to the 

Bohemian AValdenses, and accord- 
ing to the Catholics, note 66, p. 127. 

Claudius, Bishop of Turin, an icon- 
oclast, had no followers — blamed 
by his contemporaries, dishonoured 
in his i-emaius, 45, 46. 

Communion under the two kinds, 
opinion of the AValdenses and Ca- 
tholics concerning, notes 67, 68, p. 

Condemnation (the first principal) of 
the Waldenses, note 1, p. 2. 

Confession (Auricular), denied by the 
Bohemian Waldenses, and confessed 
necessary by the Catholics, notes 
64 65, p. 125. 

(Sacramental), doctrine of, ac- 
cording to the Waldenses and the 
Catholics, notes 51, 52, p. 111. 

Consecration and Blessing, opinions 
of the Waldenses, 106, ajid Catho- 
lics concerning, note 48, p. 107. 

Constantino the Great, did not leave 



the Western empire to Pope Syl- 
vester, note 33, p. 49. 
Cromwell, the Protector, offers to 
transplant the Waldenses to Ire- 
land, 70. 

Dates of the earliest public acts of 
Piemont in which the Waldenses 
are named, 44. 

(false), assigned by Legcr and 

his followers to the oldest Walden- 
siau manuscripts, 62. 

the real, of the same manuscripts, 

63, 54. 
— — proved, proofs from the contents 
of the Waldensian manuscripts, 
Doctrines (religious) of the Walden- 
ses : — 
do not contain many errors at- 
tributed to them by mistake, 87. 

not at first at variance with the 

doctrines of the Catholic Church, 
88 ; afterwards some of their doc- 
trines opposed to the teaching of 
the Church, 89. 

did not originally profess many 

doctrines afterwards adopted from 
Calvin, 90. 

profession of faith presented to 

the Senate of Turin, 90-91. 

reproached for their religious 

changes,by M. A. Rorengo, 91; ad- 
mitted at first, like the Catholics, 
the whole of the Bible, 93, 94; the 
Seven Sacraments, 96, 96 ; the 
honour due to the Virgin Mary, 
97, 98 ; the confession of sins, 98 ; 
the necessity of good works : — 
chastity — the indissolubility of 
marriage, 98, 99. 
Confessions and confessing 

sins. , 

Holy days. 
Images and relics. 
Lay magistrates. 

Lord's Prayer, 


Pope and Priests. 
See ■^ Purgatory. 
Document (the oldest public) in which 

the Waldenses are mentioned, 43. 
Dubravius (John, Bishop of Olmutz), 
his opinion of the character of 
Peter Waldensis, 41. 
Dungalins writes against Claudius, 

Bishop of Turin, 46. 
Durandus of Huesca, formerly a mas- 
ter of Waldism, in Milan, united 
to the Catholic Church with many 
followers, 89. 

his Society approved in 1208, by 

Alexander III., 89. 

E>t;as Sixvius. See Piccolomini. 

Engraving representing the alleged 
massacres of the Waldenses. See 

Epoch (the) of the beginning of the 
Waldensian sect, confinned by the 
Waldensian manuscripts, note 37, 
p. 51. See Origin and Dates. 

Fasting, the Waldenses deny the ne- 
cessity of, and the Catholics main- 
tain it, 117. 

Ferreri (St. Vincent), preaches in the 
valley of Augrogna, note 26, p. 37. 

Hermits of St. Augustin, the two 
Societies of Bernardo Primo and 
of Durandus of Huesca incorpo- 
rated with, in 1256, 89. 

Histoire veritable of the Vaudois, in 
the King's Library of Turin ; its 
author's opinion on John Leger, 
76, 76, 82. 

Holy days of obligation not admitted 
by the Waldenses, except Sundays ; 
contrary opinion of Catholics, 

Huss (John), See Wickliff. 

Images of Saints. See Relics. 

Indulgences condemned by the Wal- 
denses upheld by Catholics, note 
69, 60, p. 116. 

Innocent the Eighth ; his letter con- 



ceruiiig the crimes of the Wal- 
deuses, 64. 

Innocent the Third ooudemus the Wal- 
denscs, note 29, p. -i:!. 

Ireland, a i)art of, oflbred to the 
Waldenses of Piemont by Crom- 
well, note 41, p. 70. 

Irena^us, St.. wrongly stated to have 
built a church to the Waldenses. 

Irish regiment, none with the mi- 
nister Pianczza in 1055 ; 70, 71. 

Jakes, Bishop of Turin ; his applica- 
tion to the Emperor Otho for 
assistance in driving away the 
Waldenses, note 28, p. 42. 

Joseph, chastity of St., asserted by 
the Waldenses, 99. 

Lay Magisieates, views of the Wal- 
denses concerning their power, &c., 
122, 123. 

Leger, Anthony, uncle of John, retires 
to Geneva, condemned to death, 59, 
60, 61. 

Leger, John, caution respecting, 59. 

his character, given by Guisher- 

non, 59. 

by the author of the " Histoire 

Veritable," 60. 

perverts the order of Maria 

Christina, 61. 

deceives Morland — forges dates of 

the Waldeusiau MSS. — his mis- 
statements — condemned to death 
for high treason, 62. 

sentence upon him, 63. 

his details of cruelties compared 

with the real depositions, 73 to 

his erroneous interpretations of 

the statements of Keinerius Sacco 
— of Pilichdorff — of Archbishop 
Seyssell — Samuel de Casiuis — 
Ed. Champion — Prior Rorengo — 
Rev. T. Belvedere, 62. See also 
Bianchi and Jlondone. 

Leo in the time of Coustantine — re- 
puted facts concerning him mere 
fables, 27, 28, 29, 45, 46, 49. 
Lies, view of the Waldenses concern- 
ing, and of the Catholics, note 55, 
56, p. 113. 

Liugard's sketch about the facts of 

the year 1655 ; 68 to 71. 
Lord's Prayer, the doctrine of the 

Waldenses as to; of the Catholics. 

note 45, p. 103. 
Louis the Pious, causes many eccle- 
siastics to write against Claudius, 

bishop of Turin, 46. 
Lucius III., Pope, condemned the 

AValdenses, in 1184, at Verona; 

his words, notes 7 and 8. See also 

Monastier, 16. 

MANDScmrTS, the extant Waldensian, 
trae antiquity of, note 37, p. 51. 

Mapes or Mapcus, Walter; his state- 
ment about the Waldenses ; his 
work, " De Nugis Curialium," in 
Rome at the third Council of Late- 
ran, note 25, pp. 34, 88. 

Massacres, the supposed, described 
by Leger, first published with en- 
gravings by Morland, republished 
twenty-two years after by Leger, 
with the same engi-avings, com- 
pared with the real depositions, 71 
to 83. 

Mondone, quoted by Leger as having 
received the depositions of the de- 
tails of the supposed massacres in 
his quality of a public notary, not 
a notary then, and declared not to 
have received any depositions, 72. 

Monastier, Anthony ; his statement 
about the Pope Lucius the Second 
proved erroneous, note 39, p. 56, 

Moneta, Ven. Father, flourished in 
1230, professor of philosophy — be- 
came a Dominican — wrote " Contra 
Catharos et Valdenses " in 1244 — 
Vicar of St. Dominic in Milan — 
evidence on the Origin of the Wal- 
denses — his arguments against 
some Waldensian tenets, 4 to 9. 

Morland, Sir Samuel, misinformed 
and misled by Leger in relation to 
the Waldensian facts, 52. 

his " History of the Evangelical 

Church" may be regarded as the 
first edition of Leger — bis cha- 
racter defended, 53 ; sent by Crom- 
well to Turin, and entertained in 
Tuiin at the Duke's expense, 70. 
deposits the MSS. relating to 



the descriptions of the cruelties of 

1655 in the Cambridge Library, 72. 

his letter to Thurloe, 85. 

his translation of a Waldensiau 

passage, 97. 
Moscheim, statement of, that Peter of 

Vaud or Vaux is the founder of the 

Waldenses, blamed by the English 

translator, 47, 48. 
Murders, particulars of, related by 

J. Leger proved inconsistent. See 

doctrines of the "Waldenses, 122, 

and of the Catholics, concerning, 


Neandee, Dr. Augustus, derives the 
sect of the Waldenses from Peter 
Waldus, 48. 

Nobla Leygon, La, two MSS. of, exist- 
ing in the library of the University 
of Cambridge do not support the 
antiquity of the Waldensian sect 
stated by Leger — description of, 
52 to 57. 

photograph and lithograph of, 

Frontispiece, 58. 

Oaths, doctrine of the Waldenses as 
to, notes 53, 64, p. 112; of the Ca- 
tholics, ih. 

Obedience to lay magistrates not al- 
ways denied by the Waldenses, 122. 

Catholic teaching about the 

same, 123. 

Opinions. See Religious Opinions. 

Origin of the Waldenses, note 3, pp. 2, 
6, 8, 11, 12, 16, 19, 23, 26, 27, 28, 34, 
35, 38, 39, 40, 41, 45, 48, 50, 57. 

Paintings. See Relics. 

Perrin derives the Vaudois from 

Peter Valdo, 47. 
has not translated faithfully the 

Waldensian MSS., 96. 
his history the offspring of the 

French Protestant Church, 97. 
Persecution of the Waldenses in Pie- 

mont; why they were persecuted, 

63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 84, 85. 
details of facts relating to the 

persecution of 1655 ; 69, 70. 
Piauezza, Marquis of, fought against 

the Waldenses, 69. 
Piccolomini's, Eneas Sylvius, state- 

ment does not confirm the false 
antiquity of the Waldenses, 30. 

Pilichdorff, Peter, S. T. P. ; epoch of 
his writing on the Waldenses, and 
various MSS. of his work, 20. 

true version of a passage from, 

unfaithfully quoted by Leger and 
others, 21. 

mistake in the miswritten num- 
ber of years corrected, 22. 

Pope (the Pope of Rome) called an 
heresiarch by the Waldenses ; re- 
spected by the Catholics as the 
Primate and Chief of the Church of 
God, 108, 109. 

Preaching, public, permitted to every- 
body, according to the Waldenses, 
not according to Catholics, note 50, 
p. 110. 

Priests, when wicked, have no au- 
thority, according to the Wal- 
denses, 108; according to the Ca- 
tholics, their authority depends only 
upon their ordination, note 49, p. 

Purgatoiy, the, regarded by the Wal- 
denses as an invention of the sixth 
century, 114. 

by Catholics maintained to be an 

article of old Christian faith, notes 
57, 58, p. 115. 

Raymundus de Deventeia. See Ber- 
nard, Archb. of Narbonue. 

Records of jjublic men proving the 
rebellion of the Waldenses, 84. 

Reinerius Sacco, from being bishop 
of heretics, became a Dominican, 
and defender of the Catholic faith. 

notices about the MSS. of his 

works, note 9, p. 17. 

passage of his work misconstrued 

by Leger and others. 

derives the Waldenses from the 

merchant of Lyons. 

date of his writing, 18, 19. 

Relics, paintings,and images of Saints, 
views of the Waldenses respecting, 
note 62, p. 120; of the Catholics, 
note 63, p. 121. 

Richard of Cluny, writer of the lives 
of Popes Alexander III. and Inno- 
cent III., 1. 

his statement about PetcrWaldus 



aa founder of the Waldensian 
sect in the year 1170; 2. 
Roreugo (Rev. Mark Aurelius, Count 
of Lucerne, falsely quoted by Leger 
and Morlaud), does not confirm but 
destroys their assertions ; disproves 
the boasted antiquity and ancient 
succession of theWaldenses, 33, 34, 
35, 36. 

Sacco. See Reinerius Sacco. 

Saints (the) according to the Wal- 
denses, are not to be invoked, 118. 
Catholic doctrine on the same sub- 
ject, note 61, p. 119. 

Scriptiires (the Holy) alone, according 
to the Waldenses, sufficient for sal- 
vation, note 46, p. 104 ; by the Ca- 
tholics not deemed sufficient without 
the Tradition of the Church, note 

47, p. 105. 

Sects at Milan in the middle of the 
tliirteeuth century, number of, 10. 

Seyssell, Archbishop of Turin, his 
testimony as to the antiquity of 
the Waldensian sect in his diocese, 
note 20, pp. 25, 26. 
See also Leo. 

Sims (the Rev. Thomas), his very in- 
genious and tnie remarks on the 
supposed date of La Nobla Leycjon, 
55, 56. 

Traditions (the Apostolical) held by 
the Catholic Church, note 47, p. 105. 

Translation and transcription of part 
of the Bible in the vernacular lan- 
guage by two priests, by desire of 
Peter Waldensis, 11. 

Transubstantiation, doctrine of the 
Waldenses as to ; of the Catholics, 
notes 69, 70, p. 129. 

Waldensis, or de Vaudia, or Vaudois, 
or Valdo (Peter) : 

his birthplace and dwelling- 
house, note 2, pp. 2, 27. 

caused part of the Bible to be 

translated by two priests, 2, 11. 

author of the Waldensian sect, 

notes 20, 35, pp. 2, 5, 8, 10, 16, 19, 
23, 26, 27, 35, 38, 39, 40, 41, 47, 

48, 50, 51. 

his riches and learning, 2, 11, 19. 

his preaching, 12, 28, 29. 

his change of life, note 11, pp. 3, 

13, 19, 41. 

restrained from preaching — 

exiled and excommunicated, or con- 
demned, notes 1, 7, 8, pp. 3, 12, 16, 
20, 24, 28. 

educated in the Catholic Church 

with his first followers, 40. 

Vallenses, or Valdenses (the name of), 
given by two old writers to the fol- 
lowers of Peter de Vaudia, false de- 
rivation of, 15, 16. 

Vii'giu Mary, views of the Waldenses 
concerning, 99. 

Waldenses (The) : 

founded by Peter Waldensis, 2, 5, 

10, 30, 41, 47. 
— origin proved by the Waldensian 

MSS. 48, 51, 57. 

not the successors of the 

Apostles, 6, 7. 

date when they were restrained 

or condemned, note 1, pp. 2, 3. 

why called Poor of Lyons, 10. 

ap]iearance of holiness, and their 

disguises, 13, 14, 25. 
did not exist in the time of Pope 

Silvester, 22. 
their derivation from a certain 

Leo at the time of Constantiue the 

Great, a fable, 26, 27, 28, 29. 
■ were not in existence at the time 

of Claudius, Bishop of Turin, 45, 


spread over the mountains of 

Dauphiny, and, many years after- 
wards, into different parts of the 
world, 34, 35. 

not in Picmont before the end 

of the twelfth century, 37, 38. 
approximate date of their going 

into Piemont, 26, 41, 43. 

their conduct there at first, 42. 

so named when they went into 

Piemont, 43. 
were not in Piemont before the 

time of Peter Waldo, 43, 44. 
punished in Piemont for their 

rebellions and crimes, 63, 67. 
confess their guilt in a jniblic 

petition, 67, 68. 



r Manuscripts. 
I Murders. 
See ■{ Persecutions (of the). 

Religious Doctrines (of the). 
L Records (of the). 
Walter Mapes. See Mapes. 
War in Piemont, number of killed in, 
40, 43, 85. 

Wickliff and Huss (John), followers 
of the old AValdenses, 124. 

Writers (the) of the Waldensian facts 
not blameable for their mis-state- 
ments, being deceived by Leger, 53. 

Writers and books (alistof) consulted 
by the Author — Preface. 




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